(SOURCE) A fireball engulfed a packed commuter train after it collided with a fuel tanker in Indonesia – killing 10 and injuring 80 passengers.
Emergency workers fought to drag survivors from the burning and twisted wreckage of the disaster just south of the country’s capital Jakarta.
Police are investigating claims the truck accelerated into the path of the oncoming train, thought to have been carrying 600 people, while attempting to skip closing barriers of a level crossing.
The train was travelling at 43mph split seconds before the collision, according to authorities.
‘The first and last carriages on this train were for women only, so it was the first carriage that collided with the truck,’ Sukendar Mulya, a spokesman for state-owned train company Kereta Api Indonesia, told AFP.
The truck accelerated and drove onto the tracks just as the gate was coming down to halt traffic and let the train pass, Mulya said.
Investigations were under way after the accident shortly before lunch at a crossing in the suburb of Bintaro, southwest of Jakarta, police said. The truck was destroyed in the blaze.
‘One of the railway crossing gates malfunctioned. A railway officer had tried to stop the truck,’ said Dedi Arnadi, head of police for the area, told reporters.
Both the carriage and tanker flipped on their sides following the crash at a level crossing and caught fire, sending thick plumes of smoke into the air as passengers jumped off the train and fled.
The train company estimated that around 600 passengers were on board when it slammed into the truck on the southeastern fringes of Jakarta.
Forty-year-old Ira, who goes by one name, was in the carriage that hit the truck.
‘I felt the strong crash and panicked, so I forced my way out a window and just ran,’ Ira told AFP as she broke down in tears.
‘I was outside when I heard an explosion… and saw the truck and carriage on fire,’ she said.
Jakarta deputy police chief Sujarno confirmed that five people were killed but other passengers were safely evacuated.
‘There were also young children hospitalised with injuries,’ he said.