National

Death toll from train crash
hits 33

The death toll from a train crash in the Central Java town of Pemalang on Saturday has reached 33, with 16 people injured.

“A total of 33 bodies have been evacuated from the wreckage,” an official at Petarukan railway station said, adding that the death toll might climb as evacuation of the victims had yet to finish.

State railway company PT KAI said at least 31 people were killed in the collision between business train Senja Utama and executive train Argobromo Anggrek at about 3 a.m. on Saturday, 10 of them remained unidentified. A total of 19 bodies were admitted to Ashari General Hospital, while the rest to Santa Maria Hospital.

Pemalang police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Sofyan Nugroho said machinists of the two trains, Giyono and M. Khalik, and a railway track operator were undergoing questioning in connection with the fatal accident, dubbed the worst since a train crash in Bintaro, South Jakarta which killed 139 people in 1987.

“We are questioning them to find out what has caused the crash,” Sofyan said. He added that the railway track operator would be quizzed as to why the executive train ran on line 3, which was allocated for the business train.

The Senja Utama train stopped at the station to make way for the Argobromo train.

Meanwhile, Director General of Train Tundjung Inderawan was on his way to the accident site, spokesman for the Transportation Ministry Bambang S Ervan said.

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