JAKARTA: At least 36 people were killed while dozens other severely injured when a train crashed into another parked at a railway station in central Indonesia early Saturday. According to details, the rescuers spent hours searching through the mangled wreckage for trapped survivors of the accident, which occurred just before 3 a.m., as many passengers were sleeping.
Transportation Ministry spokesman Bambang Ervan said that a train from the capital, Jakarta, plowed into the rear of a train that was sitting at a station in Petarukan, a coastal city in Central Java province. The force of the crash knocked several carriages off the track, waking Anwar Sumarno, a university student, with a bang. The lights were knocked out in his cabin and screams of the injured pierced the darkness.
It took almost an hour for rescue workers and ambulances to arrive at the scene, which was littered with twisted debris. Villagers, railway officials and some passengers used their bare hands and bamboo sticks to search for survivors. Sumarno said it took hours to pry loose a pregnant woman, who suffered injuries to her arms and legs.
Investigators were trying to determine if human error was to blame. “It may also have been mechanical,” said Ervan, the transport ministry spokesman. “We’re checking to see if the signals of the parked train were working properly.” The 36 bodies were taken to three nearby hospitals, said Tri Yuniasari, a spokeswoman for the Hasyim Ashari hospital who was helping keep tallies.
Among the victims were Bayu Sakti, a 33-year-old army sergeant, his 29-year-old wife and their 4-year-old son.“It’d been six months since they’d come home,” the man’s 60-year-old mother, Agatha, told the news portal Detik.com. “We were waiting for them.”More than 40 people were hurt, some with severe injuries and broken bones, doctors and nurses said.
Just an hour after Saturday’s collision, another train crashed in the town of Solo, also in Central Java, killing at least one person, according to Ervan and officials at a nearby hospital.-SANA