31128Updated: Train Crashes Into Gas Tanker in Bintaro, Several Killed
- Dec 9, 2013
Updated: Train Crashes Into Gas Tanker in Bintaro, Several Killed
[First published at 12:37 p.m. on Dec. 9, 2013. Last updated at 3:20 p.m.]
Several people died after a train crashed into a Pertamina gasoline tanker at a railroad crossing in Bintaro on Monday morning, causing at least one female-only carriage to overturn and burst into flames.
“Seven people have died and 20 are injured, the train driver was still trapped in the front carriage,” National Police spokesman Rikwanto said on Monday afternoon.
Antonius Tarigan, a BeritaSatu TV reporter on the scene, said the tanker had driven too fast across the railway track, while the barrier had come down too late.
Police officers, soldiers, fire fighters and officials from the Indonesian Red Cross (PMI) were still evacuating the victims, police said.
Transport officials confirmed that the overturned section of the train was a section reserved for women. Women-only carriages, which were introduced to give female passengers a greater sense of security, are fairly common on Jakarta’s rail network.
Commuter Line (KCJ), a subsidiary of state-owned train company Kereta Api Indonesia, said the rescue operation was still underway.
“Regarding the accident in Pondok Bentung, I can confirm that train KA 1131 from Serpong to Tanah Abang was hit by a tanker. The truck is on fire and the front carriage derailed,” KCJ spokeswoman Eva Chairunnisa said.
A train security guard told the Jakarta Globe that the train made a stop at Pondok Aren station before continuing to Kebayoran station.
Panji Agestri said the train applied the brakes twice before the intersection.
“After that, the train collapsed to the right side and I heard the explosion,” said Panji, who was in the second carriage of the train.
“The access to the first car was blocked and I couldn’t go in there,” he said. “The passengers were panicking and they broke the windows to get out of the car. When I checked, it turned out that we had hit a gasoline truck.”
One passenger described a scene of panic and confusion as the overturned carriage caused passengers to fall onto each other.
“I was in the first carriage… all of a sudden, the carriage turned sideways and the other passengers were on top of each other. I heard a loud noise then a major fire burst through from the train driver’s compartment,” Endang told the Globe. “All were screaming hysterically, crying and panicking. Everyone wanted to get out, and people were trampling on each other. Luckily, someone from outside [the train] broke the glass and I was helped to get out”
Sukendar Mulya, spokesman of Kereta Api Inodnesia, said that train services on the line had been halted.
“The electricity along the track connecting Kanji and Kebayoran has been switched off for safety reasons during the evacuation,” he said.
A statement from NTMC Polri said firefighters were still trying to extinguish the blaze at 12:30 p.m.
Transportation Minister E.E. Mangindaan said the accident was under investigation.
“I’ve have heard about it, it’s being investigated… I cannot comment further,” he said
Eva said that the accident happened at 11:20 a.m, although the transportation ministry earlier reported the time incorrectly as 10 a.m.
A Pertamina spokesman confirmed that the tanker belonged to the state-owned oil-and-gas company.
“Regarding the cause of the accident, we are still waiting the official investigation from the Police,” said Ali Mundakir, Pertamina vice president of corporate communications. “The tanker that was hit by the train was carrying 24 kiloliters of gasoline to be distributed to Bintaro and the surrounding areas.”
Pertamina was not able to comment on whether the driver had been traveling too fast, but said the company placed speed restrictions on its drivers.
“The standard operating procedure for gas trucks is very tight and this will be a part of an investigation that we will conduct,” Ali said
Train crashes are frequent in Indonesia, and Bintaro was the site of the country’s worst-ever rail catastrophe.
On Oct. 1987, a train leaving Rangkasbitung for Tanah Abang was allowed to roll on to Sudirmara by the station master. Two crowded trains crashed in the station, killing 156 people.
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