Train crash in Iran Kills at least 17 people

TEHRAN – A passenger train partially derailed in eastern Iran early Wednesday morning, killing at least 17 people and injuring 50 others, some of them critically, authorities said. .

Initial details of the disaster involving the train, believed to be carrying around 350 passengers, are unclear, but there are concerns that the death toll could rise.

Four of the seven carriages in the train derailed in the early morning darkness near the desert city of Tabas, about 340 kilometers, or 550 kilometers, southeast of the capital Tehran, state television reported.

Rescue teams with ambulances and helicopters have reached the crash site, in a remote area with poor communication links.

Aerial footage of the desert site of the disaster showed train carriages running towards them, with several rescuers running at the scene as they tried to tend to the injured. Ali Akbar Rahimi, governor of Tabas, was quoted by Iranian media as saying the death toll could rise after rescuers searched the carriages.

State television then showed images from a hospital where the injured were taken for treatment. One of the injured told the broadcaster that they felt the train suddenly brake and slow down before derailed.

The injured passenger said: “The passengers were thrown onto the bus like balloons in the air.

The derailment happened about 30 kilometers outside Tabas on the railway line connecting the city with downtown Yazd, about 190 kilometers southwest.

Iranian media reported that the accident was under investigation. Initial reports suggested that the train collided with an excavator near the tracks, although it is unclear why an excavator approached the tracks at night. An official suggested it could be part of a repair project.

Iran’s worst train disaster occurred in 2004, when a train running on gasoline, fertilizer, sulfur and cotton crashed near the historic city of Neyshabur, killing nearly 300 people and injuring 460 others. injured and 5 villages damaged. Another train accident in 2016 left dozens dead and many injured.

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