Passenger train derails, leaving at least 21 dead and 47 injured
- A train derailed, leaving at least 21 dead and 47 injured in southern Iran.
- The train was carrying about 350 people.
- «Passengers were bouncing off the car like balls in the air,» said an unidentified injured passenger.
A passenger train traveling through eastern Iran collided with a bulldozer and nearly half of its carriages derailed in the early hours of Wednesday, June 8. The accident killed at least 21 people and injured 47 others, authorities reported.
The derailment of a train near the desert city of Tabas was the latest disaster to hit the Islamic Republic in recent weeks, at a time when Tehran is struggling under US sanctions and any return to its nuclear deal remains in doubt, according to the AP.
Train passengers bounced in the air
The train, operated by the state-owned Islamic Republic Railways, and carrying some 350 people on board, covered the route between Tabas, which is around 550 km (340 miles) southeast of the capital Tehran, and Yazd, in the center of the country. It hit the bulldozer in an underpass in a rural area, sending carriages and passengers flying.
“Passengers were bouncing off the car like balls in the air,” an unidentified injured passenger told state television. The state news agency IRNA released the death toll citing emergency service officials. Filed Under: Train Derailment.
Officials fear the death toll will rise
Rescue teams with ambulances and helicopters have traveled to the remote area, where communications are poor. More than a dozen people were in critical condition and some were taken to local hospitals, authorities said.
Aerial footage of the disaster site showed railcars lying on their sides and some rescuers running toward them as they tried to help the injured. State television later broadcast footage from a hospital where the injured were receiving treatment. One of them said that he felt the train stop suddenly and then slow down before derailing. The accident occurred about 50 kilometers (30 miles) from Tabas. Filed Under: Train Derailment.
What caused the accident?
The report said the accident is being investigated. Initial reports suggested the train collided with a bulldozer near the track, although it was not immediately clear what the vehicle was doing so close to the rails at night. An official suggested that it could be due to repair work, according to the AP.
The country’s president, Ebrahim Raisi, offered his condolences to the victims of the accident and announced an investigation to determine its causes. The country’s worst rail disaster occurred in 2004, when a runaway convoy loaded with gasoline, fertilizer, sulfur and cotton crashed near the historic town of Neyshabur, killing 320 people, injuring some 460 and damaging five villages. Another incident in 2016 left at least 43 dead and nearly a hundred injured.
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