2 trains collided and caught fire Friday 25, 2016 in a remote region of northern Iran, killing no fewer than 44 people and injuring dozens more, in one among the country´s worst rail disasters.
Mohammed Reza Khabbaz, Provincial governor told state TV that the crash occurred in Semnan province on the main line between Teheran and Iran´s second city Mashhad.
An express train in operation from Tabriz in the northwest to Mashhad had stopped, Khabbaz said, at first suggesting the cause could have been a mechanical failure or extreme cold, although it was later put down to human fault.
2 coaches on the express burst into flames when a passenger train behind smashed into the rear of it at 7:50 am (0420 GMT).
The front four coaches of the second train running from Semnan to Mashhad — derailed and overturned.
“One minute i was sleeping and the next i was being carried out of a coach on fire,” one hospitalized passenger told state TV.
Television broadcast images of a large column of black smoke and flames shooting into the sky from coaches with their windows shattered, as firefighters battled the blaze and rescue workers searched for victims.
With the toll climbing throughout the day, Hossein Kulivand, head of Iran´s emergency services, said late Friday that 44 people were killed and 82 hospitalised, of whom 17 were treated for light injuries and discharged.
Human error was determined to have caused the accident.
“For some unknown reasons because of human fault, the train (from Semnan) was ordered to move and so it hit the other train from behind,” said Mohsen Poor-Seyed Aghaie, the head of Iranian railways