At least three killed as trains collide in Indonesia

Dozens are being treated at hospital after crash in West Java province

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At least three people were killed when two trains collided on Indonesia's island of Java on Friday.

The accident happened about 500 metres from Cicalengka train station in West Java’s Bandung city, said Ayep Hanapi, spokesman for PT Kereta Api Indonesia, the national railway operator.

He said 287 passengers were onboard the Turangga express train, travelling from East Java's capital Surabaya, when it struck a Bandung Raya commuter train, which was taking 191 passengers from Padalarang from Cicalengka station. The collision occurred at about 6.30am.

“All passengers of the two crashed trains have been evacuated safely,” Mr Hanapi said, adding that 28 people were being treated at hospital.

The commuter train's driver and his assistant, as well as a steward on the express train, were killed, West Java Police spokesman Ibrahim Tompo said.

He said rescuers recovered the body of the steward and were still trying to remove the driver and assistant from their train's locomotive.

Footage broadcast on TV showed several carriages overturned or mangled. One carriage plunged into a nearby rice field.

Transport Ministry spokeswoman Adita Irawati said the cause of the accident was being investigated and that the authorities were working to remove the trains and restore rail services.

Train accidents are common on Indonesia’s ageing railway network, especially at crossings.

The government has spent billions of dollars on improving infrastructure in the country, including roads, railways, airports and power plants.

A $7.3 billion high-speed railway, the first in South-East Asia, has been in operation since October. The 142km network, a key project under China’s Belt and Road initiative, cut travel times between Jakarta and Bandung from three hours to about 40 minutes.

Updated: January 05, 2024, 11:39 AM