Sun, Oct 03, 2010 - Page 1 News List

At least 36 killed in Indonesia crash

AFP, PEMALANG, Indonesia

At least 36 people were killed yesterday when a passenger train slammed into the back of another train in Indonesia, as rescuers freed dozens more from the wreckage, an official said.

Police said human error was to blame for the accident, which happened before dawn at a station in Petarukan Pemalang, Central Java Province, although the official cause was still under investigation.

“Thirty-six people were killed and more than 30 were badly injured,” national police spokesman Iskandar Hasan said.

All of the passengers had been freed from the train, according to a spokesman for the transport ministry.

“All the victims have been extracted from the train and taken to hospital,” Bambang Ervan said.

Officers at the scene said a train headed to Surabaya smashed into the rear carriages of a Semarang-bound locomotive that was waiting at the platform.

Ten hours after the accident the death toll was still being updated, amid media reports that rescuers arrived late and lacked proper equipment to free passengers trapped in the wreckage.

National railway operator spokesman Sugeng Priyono said the rescue was delayed.

“The rescue came late today because the heavy machinery [needed for the rescue] was located far away from the accident location,” he said.

Many of the dead and injured were trapped in three carriages, which had derailed and flipped over, officials said.

The national police spokesman said that the accident was believed to be a result of human error.

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