Written by Staff Writer by By, Arsalan Khorram, CNN
Stranded in a pothole after being swept across Istanbul’s expansive Danube River, a small group of residents barely avoided death.
A strong gust swept them out of their car and onto the roadway — overhanging the rising water — before toppling them down, hitting every man, woman and child on board.
Two of the dead were a mother and father, said one local resident, television station CNN Turk reported.
Five others were seriously injured. The sixth was taken to hospital, but the status of the last victim is unknown.
“There is no doubt that this was the most serious case of similar storms in recent memory,” wrote Marmar Oltes from the Turkish state TRT news agency.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan condemned the incident, saying it would be investigated “and those responsible will receive the harshest punishment,” according to TRT
The National Crisis Management Board and Health Minister Recep Akdag have offered their support to the family of the two victims.
Turkish emergency workers inspect a collapsed building in Istanbul, Turkey. Credit: Erkan Ozturk/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
Storming through cities
According to CNN Turk, the city of 4.5 million people experienced unusually high temperatures in the past two days.
The highest ever recorded on May 18, was 30.3 degrees Celsius (86.1 degrees Fahrenheit), well above the seasonal average of 21.5 degrees Celsius (69.8 degrees Fahrenheit).
The Danube River is one of the world’s most important water bodies.
Travelers warned to expect disruption to flights.
Nearby European cities suffered from similar storms. They caused power cuts, flooding, and even significant structural damage in at least one village in Germany.
A man walks next to a car with a shattered windscreen damaged by a storm in Istanbul, Turkey. Credit: Bulent Kilic/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
Flights to and from Istanbul could experience delays and cancellations throughout the day, the Turkish Rail Agency said, the BBC reported.