Soccer star dies after luxury van returning from game crashes in Turkey

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By Associated Press  with NBC News World News
Image: Josef Sural in 2016
Josef Sural.   -   Copyright  David Tanecek

ANKARA, Turkey — Czech Republic international Josef Sural was killed and six other Alanyaspor players were injured Monday when their van was involved in an accident on the way home from a Turkish league soccer match.

The 28-year-old Sural died in the hospital during emergency surgery, Alanyaspor president Hasan Cavusoglu told NTV television by telephone.

Josef Sural.
Josef Sural.David Tanecek

The six other players were reportedly in stable condition.

Cavusoglu said Sural and his six teammates had hired a private luxury van to return from a game at Kayserispor in central Turkey. The crash occurred near the town of Alanya, on Turkey's Mediterranean coast.

Cavusoglu said the driver of the van was being questioned by police.

"Our pain is huge," Cavusoglu said.

The state-run Anadolu Agency said the van veered off the road and overturned. It identified the injured players as Wanderson Baiano, Steven Caulker, Isaac Sackey, Papiss Demba Cisse, Welinton Souza and Djalma Campos.

Sural, a forward who made his debut for the Czech Republic national team in 2013, joined Alanyaspor in January.