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Scores Killed, Injured in Indonesian Train Collision

  • Angela Dewan

Rescuers search for victims of a train crash near a station in Petarukan in Central Java, Indonesia, 02 Oct 2010

At least 36 people were killed and scores more injured when two trains collided on Indonesia's Java Island. Investigators are still trying to find the cause of the accident.

An east-bound train from the capital Jakarta smashed into the back of a stationary train in Pemalang, Central Java, at around 2:45 a.m. The collision at Petarukan Station caused three carriages to derail and flip over, trapping victims.

Kadir escaped one of the carriages with minor injuries. He spoke to station TVOne.

He says he had just come out of the toilet when he heard a big bang and his carriage derailed. He escaped through the roof, which had come off in the collision.

Indonesian media reported that rescue workers arrived late and lacked the equipment to free trapped passengers. Witnesses helped pry open carriages and pull victims out on makeshift stretchers made of clothing. Victims have been taken to hospitals nearby.

Humar Sono, the director of the Hasyim Ashari Hospital, says they are treating 15 victims at the Ashari hospital. All 15 are in stable condition and are under supervision as they wait for surgery.

Transportation Ministry officials say the accident was likely caused by human error, but the investigation is not over.

Officials warn the number of victims will rise as rescue work continues.

Accidents on Indonesian trains, planes and ferries are not uncommon due to poor infrastructure, and vehicle maintenance. Hundreds have died in such accidents in recent years.