The latest casualty figures from the worst train accident in Montenegro’s history indicate 44 people were killed and 198 injured, with a dozen still in intensive care. Many of the victims were children.
Three days of national mourning have been declared, and the transport minister and head of the rail company have tendered their resignations. The crash, in the deep Moraca canyon, came on Monday when the packed train was returning from a skiing trip in the mountains to the port city of Bar on the Adriatic. Brake failure is thought to have been the cause of the accident. Strong northerly winds and pitch darkness hampered the initial rescue operations, and floodlights had to be used to illuminate the crash site, which was littered with the victim’s cell phones ringing throughout the operation. Relatives and friends hurried to the hospital in the capital, Podgorica, which was swamped by the disaster, and urgent appeals have gone out for blood donors to come forward.