Commuter train crashes in Jakarta, 7 deadBy AP News Dec 09, 2013 3:13PM UTC
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — At least seven people died Monday when a commuter train collided with a truck hauling fuel in Indonesia’s capital, sending a fireball of orange flames and black smoke shooting skyward.
The accident in southern Jakarta killed the train engineer and at least six others, said Jakarta police spokesman Col. Rikwanto, who uses one name like many Indonesians. About 20 others were injured.
A burned-out passenger car was seen lying on its side while plumes of black smoke billowed from parts of the engulfed train run by PT KAI Commuter train company. The train was headed to central Jakarta when the accident occurred just before noon, said Eva Chairunisa, a company spokeswoman. She said the truck was hauling LPG, but police said it was carrying gasoline.
Two carriages derailed during the accident, and hundreds of panicked passengers ran from the train, many screaming and crying. Rescuers worked to pull out three bodies pinned under the wreckage, said Sukarno, a firefighter on the scene. The cause of the accident is being investigated.
A passenger of a derailed carriage who managed to escape told MetroTV that the train appeared to slam on its breaks just before impact. She said she heard explosions and then the car filled with thick smoke, making it difficult to breathe.
“My position was near the door, but I could not move because I was … trampled by other passengers,” said Veronica, who uses only one name and was riding in a car reserved for women. “We managed to escape after people from outside broke the windows. I saw many victims with burns on their legs, hands and stomachs.”
The accident occurred near the site of a 1987 crash that killed 156 people when two trains collided.
Commuter trains are often packed with passengers due to the lack of other forms of public transportation in Jakarta, which has some of the worst traffic jams in Asia.