Dozens injured in Jakarta train collision

A medical team attending to an injured passenger after a commuter train smashed into another in Jakarta yesterday. Transport accidents are common in the Indonesian capital, where buses and trains are often old and badly maintained.
A medical team attending to an injured passenger after a commuter train smashed into another in Jakarta yesterday. Transport accidents are common in the Indonesian capital, where buses and trains are often old and badly maintained. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

JAKARTA • At least 35 people were injured yesterday when a packed commuter train slammed into the back of another at a station in Jakarta during rush hour, an official said.

TV footage showed the two trains crushed together, with considerable damage to the front end of one and the back of the other, and emergency workers carrying out the injured on stretchers.

Some carriages of the train that was hit were derailed by the impact. The driver of the other train was reportedly stuck inside his crushed cab and rescuers had to force their way in with metal bars.

"So far 35 people, including the train driver, have been taken to hospital," Ms Eva Chairunisa, a spokesman for operator Kereta Commuter Line, told TV station tvOne.

She said most of the victims were female as the first and last carriages of commuter trains in Jakarta are reserved for women. It was not clear how serious the injuries were.

THE IMPACT FOR SOME

The collision was not really hard. I wasn't thrown out of my seat. I also carried a bike with me, but it wasn't damaged.

MR MOERAT SITOMPOUL, a passenger on one of the trains involved in the incident

Mr Moerat Sitompoul, a passenger on one of the trains, told the Tempo news site that the oncoming train smashed into the back of the train he was on, which had stopped on the track one or two minutes earlier.

"The collision was not really hard. I wasn't thrown out of my seat. I also carried a bike with me, but it wasn't damaged," Mr Moerat said.

An investigation has been launched into the cause of the accident at Juanda station on the busy Jakarta Kota-Bogor route, which carries thousands of commuters every day in and out of the metropolis of more than 10 million, said the spokesman. Both trains serve the Jakarta Kota-Bogor route.

Thousands of weary commuters were facing delays after the line was partially closed following the collision.

Transport accidents are common in Jakarta, where the roads are crowded with huge numbers of cars and motorbikes, and buses and trains are often old and badly maintained.

In 2013, seven people were killed and scores injured when a commuter train collided with a fuel tanker at a level crossing in Jakarta and burst into flames.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 24, 2015, with the headline 'Dozens injured in Jakarta train collision'. Print Edition | Subscribe