Train Collision Kills 31 in Iran

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At least 31 people have been killed and dozens more injured in a train collision in northern Iran.

Officials say four carriages derailed and two caught fire after an intercity express broke down between stations and was hit by another train early on Friday.

The accident happened in subzero temperatures about 250 kilometres east of the capital, Tehran.

The Iranian State media reports that four of the fatalities were railway employees.

“The bodies of 31 dead have been identified and more than 70 people hospitalized,” State Governor Mohammad Reza Khabbaz told local media.

The governor said that the number of casualties is likely to rise adding that a mechanical failure had forced the intercity express train to stop between stations.

The crash occurred in Iran’s northern province of Semnan, on the main line between Tehran and Mashhad in the north-east.






     

     

    Red Crescent Director Hassan Shokrollahi said rescue efforts were hampered by the remote location of the crash site.

    “Due to the difficulty of access, only our helicopter has managed to reach the scene,” he said.

    The injured were taken to hospitals in Semnan and Damghan.

    Years of punitive international sanctions against Iran over its controversial nuclear program have seriously affected the country’s infrastructure, including roads and the railway network.

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