Five dead, many in­jured as train hits bus near Tu­nis

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

TU­NIS: At least five peo­ple were killed and more than 50 in­jured yes­ter­day when a train slammed into a pub­lic bus be­fore dawn near Tu­nis, the Tu­nisian in­te­rior min­istry said.

The ar­tic­u­lated bus was torn in two when it was struck on the tracks at around 6:00 am (0500 GMT) near Sidi Fathal­lah, some 10 km south of the cap­i­tal. Five peo­ple in­clud­ing a child were killed and another 52 were taken to hos­pi­tal, many with se­ri­ous in­juries, the min­istry said. Among the in­jured were eight sol­diers, Mo­saique FM ra­dio sta­tion re­ported.

A lo­cal court of­fi­cial said sig­nals and safety gates had been out of ser­vice at the time of the crash. “This fail­ure is at the root of the col­li­sion,” Moez Bouraoui, a court spokesman from Ben Arous south of the cap­i­tal, told Mo­saique FM. The na­tional rail­way com­pany said it had be­gun an in­ves­ti­ga­tion to de­ter­mine the cause of the ac­ci­dent. Pres­i­dent Beji Caid Essebsi vis­ited some of the in­jured at the Ben Arous hos­pi­tal. “I have been told that the sig­nals have not been work­ing for more than 15 days,” Essebsi said. “This is not nor­mal... we must put an end to lazi­ness, it is ev­ery­one’s re­spon­si­bil­ity.”

Transport Min­is­ter Anis Ghedira called for new mea­sures against the de­struc­tion and theft of safety bar­ri­ers. “We must or­ga­nize aware­ness cam­paigns on the im­por­tance of this equip­ment that pro­tects lives,” he said. Au­thor­i­ties in Tu­nisia have called for greater cau­tion on the roads fol­low­ing ac­ci­dents in­clud­ing a col­li­sion be­tween a bus and a lorry in Au­gust that killed 16 peo­ple and in­jured 85. A 2015 World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion re­port said Tu­nisia had the sec­ond worst traf­fic death rate per capita in North Africa, be­hind war-torn Libya. Tu­nisia logged 24.4 deaths per 100,000 in­hab­i­tants, ac­cord­ing to data from pre­vi­ous years, fewer than Libya’s 73.4 but far more than 2.9 in Bri­tain. — AFP

JEBEL JALLOUD, Tu­nisia: Tu­nisian se­cu­rity of­fi­cers gather at the site of a col­li­sion af­ter a train slammed into a pub­lic bus and tore it in two near Sidi Fathal­lah yes­ter­day. — AFP

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