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Four dead and dozens wounded after train collision in Indonesia

Rescuers remove the body of a train crash victim in Cicalengka, West Java, Indonesia, Friday, Jan. 5, 2024.
Rescuers remove the body of a train crash victim in Cicalengka, West Java, Indonesia, Friday, Jan. 5, 2024. Copyright Associated Press
Copyright Associated Press
By Euronews with AP
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A long-distance express train collided with a commute train on Friday morning in Indonesia's main island of Java. Four crew members died.

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Two trains collided in Indonesia's West Java province on Friday morning, killing at least four people and forcing over 500 passengers to evacuate, according to local officials.

At 6:03 am local time, an express long-distance train heading to Bandung from the island's second-largest city, Surabaya, collided with a commuter train coming from Haurpugur station heading to Padalarang. The express train had 287 passengers on board, while the commute carried 191.

“All passengers of the two crashed trains have been evacuated safely,” Hanapi said. He added that 37 people were injured and being treated at several hospitals. By Friday afternoon, only two passengers remained hospitalised.

Passenger Heri Aliyudin said the lights were knocked out in his cabin in the third carriage of the train from Surabaya. He recalled suitcases and bags falling onto several passengers. Those who were still asleep were thrown from their seats.

“I was so shocked, I couldn’t move for a moment, it was total confusion,” Aliyudin told Kompas TV in an interview, “Then I grabbed my suitcase and shoved my way outside.”

At least four train crew members were killed: a steward and a security guard on the express train, and the driver and his assistant from the commuter train, according to West Java Police spokesperson Ibrahim Tompo.

Footage from the media shows several carriages from both trains overturned. One carriage even plunged into a nearby rice field. Panicked passengers tried to get out of the trains as people standing in the rice fields screamed amid the accident.

Transportation Ministry spokesperson Adita Irawati apologized for the incident and said it was under investigation.

“This accident will be subject to further evaluation so that a similar incident will not happen again in the future,” Irawati said.

Train accidents are common on Indonesia’s aging railroad network, especially at crossings.

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