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Hundreds Dead and Injured in Mozambique Train Crash - 2002-05-25

Nearly people are dead and hundreds more have been injured in one of the worst train crashes in Mozambique's history.

A train carrying weekend visitors heading to South Africa collided early Saturday with a freight train parked at a station in Moamba - about 60 kilometers south of the capital, Maputo.

The injured are being treated in hospitals in Maputo where they were taken by ambulances and private vehicles. The national health director has recalled all off-duty medical staff and asked medical students to offer their help to hospitals.

Mozambique blood supplies have run very low in recent months and hospitals have issued urgent pleas for blood donations.

Mozambique's Transport Minister Tomas Salomao told Radio Mozambique the cause of the accident is being investigated but said it may have been caused by human error. Mr. Salomao described the scene as dramatic and said bodies were being found all over the crash site.

Mozambique President Joachim Chissano described the incident as a national tragedy and said the government will assist all victims' families. President Chissano also urged citizens to offer help to those who have lost family members.