Tue, 25 Oct 1994

Train collision injures at least 11

JAKARTA (JP): At least 11 people were injured when a speeding electric train hit an idle train, stalled after unidentified technical problems, on the railway tracks high over Jl. Pangeran Jayakarta in Central Jakarta here yesterday morning.

Members from the local police precinct and the Perumka railway company contacted at the scene said that the only people injured in the collision were the few commuters using the Jakarta-Bogor train service at the time.

"The number might have been greater if the accident had taken place in the afternoon when many commuters usually head home to Bogor from the city," the spokesman said to Perumka's Jakarta office, Bambang Walujodjati.

Based on preliminary police questioning and investigation, the accident took place just three minutes after the second train, No. 532, departed at 8:55 a.m. from the Kota railway station, said Maj. I.K. Sunartha, head of the Pademangan police subprecinct.

The first No. 524 train left the station at 8:50 a.m. and suddenly stalled on the steep railway tracks less than two kilometers from the station.

"The engineer from the first train did not communicate his problem to the Kota station," Sunartha said.

Train no. 532, cruising up the tracks at approximately 30 kilometers per hour, hit the back coach of the stalled train, derailing two coaches from each train, Sunartha explained.

Bambang conjectured that the engineer of the stalled train might have tried to find out the cause of the problem instead of reporting it right away to the station.

"We all might decide to do such a thing before rushing to inform the proper authorities of the problem," Bambang said. "Unfortunately, this time the decision was wrong."

Both Bambang and Sunartha said that so far none of Perumka's crew was being questioned about the accident.

"In the meantime, we need to first clean up the scene to avoid further congestion and also treat the victims," Bambang said.

Yesterday's accident caused no significant problems to other trains as two railway tracks are utilized.

According to Bambang, five of the 11 victims had left the nearby Husada hospital by yesterday evening, suffering only from slight injuries. (bsr)