Thu, 10 Jul 2003

Derailed train in Brebes disrupts north coast railroad

Nana Rukmana, The Jakarta Post, Cirebon, West Java

Nine trains traveling between Jakarta and Bandung, capital of West Java province, were rerouted to the south coast railroad after a train derailed on the north coast railroad on Wednesday in Brebes, Central Java.

No fatalities were reported in the incident.

State-owned train company PT Kereta Api Indonesia (KAI) spokesman Suhartono said four trains leaving Jakarta and Bandung and five others coming from Central and East Java arrived at their respective destinations later than scheduled, as they had to take a detour route on the south coast railroad.

The nine trains, including four executive Argo Anggrek trains, were delayed more than four hours.

"The nine trains were rerouted through Prupuk near Purwokerto in the southern part of Central Java," he said, adding that the rerouting caused more than 5,000 passengers to arrive late at their destinations.

Economy train Bangunkarta, which was carrying more than 400 passengers from Senen station in Jakarta to Jombang in East Java, derailed only a few hundred meters before the Brebes railroad station.

Suhartono confirmed that three train cars were badly damaged, and that it took over four hours to remove the damaged cars and repair the affected railroad.

"We are still investigating the cause of the incident," he said.

The train continued its trip to Jombang after a 200-meter stretch of the railroad was repaired,

Four trains have derailed between Krawang bordering Jakarta and Brebes bordering Cirebon, West Java, in the last three months.

A cargo train derailed in Babakan district, Cirebon, on July 1 and economy train Gumarang derailed on June 9, while business train Fajar Utama derailed in Indramayu on May 30 on its way from Jakarta to Semarang, capital of Central Java.

The worst incident involving trains occurred when an economy train hit a bus in Gemolong village, Sragen, Central Java, last month, killing at least 12 people and wounding four others seriously.