Tue, 18 Sep 2001

Tanker train with 360,000 liters of diesel derails in Banyumas

BANYUMAS, Central Java (JP): A tanker train carrying 360,000 liters of diesel was derailed in Banyumas regency, Central Java, on its way from Cilacap to Tegal, also in Central Java, on Sunday, causing at least 18 trains using the Purwokerto-Jakarta line to be delayed for nine hours. No fatalities were reported.

The tanker train went off the tracks at Karanggandul village, between Karanggandul and Karangsari railroad stations, Supriyadi, a spokesman for the railroad company PT KAI in Purwokerto, said on Monday.

Repair work undertaken by PT KAI's Purwokerto workshop was finished on Monday morning, enabling the tanker train to proceed safely to Tegal and the resumption of regular rail services via Banyumas.

Supriyadi said a team had been set up to investigate the incident.

Sunday's accident took place only two weeks after the country's worst rail disaster so far this year, in which a Yogyakarta-bound train rammed into a locomotive at Cirebon station, West Java, killing at least 41 people.

Among the executive trains whose departures were canceled due to the tanker car derailment were the Gajayana, Taksaka, Bima and Argo Dwipangga expresses, all of which use the line between Purwokerto and Jakarta.

No shortage of supplies in gas stations in Pekalongan, Tegal, Brebes or Pemalang were reported following the tanker train's delayed arrival.

"Customers who failed to travel due to the accident received a ticket refund, and the passengers who were stranded received compensation in the form of complimentary meals," Supriyadi added.

The railroad company's losses arising from the derailment and the refunds have not yet been estimated, "but the important thing is to restore railroad services to normal," he concluded. (45)