Passenger train derails, dozens injured
Apassenger train heading from Ulaanbaatar to Sainshand soum in Dornogovi Province derailed and flipped to its side at 4:50 a.m. on Sunday due to flood-damaged railway tracks.
Although there weren’t any fatalities, many passengers were severely injured, including a pregnant woman and three children.
The accident occurred in Airag soum in Dornogovi Province as the railway track was seriously damaged by heavy flooding in the area, according to the railway authority – Ulaanbaatar Railway (UBTZ), a Mongolia-Russia joint venture company.
Spokesperson for the Ministry of Health T.Amarjargalan gave a statement about the conditions of the 328 people who were traveling in the train when it derailed.
“Four doctors, a nurse, a janitor and a driver from the Medical Center of Dalanjargalan soum arrived at the site at 6:40 a.m. followed by three more doctors, a nurse and a driver from the Medical Center of Airag soum who arrived 10 minutes later. The road was very bad because of flooding. The two medical teams examined 84 people. For starters, 11 people – eight with soft tissue injury, one with fracture in his left leg, 34 to 35 weeks pregnant woman, and one with a back injury – were taken to the Medical Center of Airag soum. Three of them were children and the rest adults. Other passengers are in stable condition.”
At 1:00 p.m., the ministry made another statement saying that 81 passengers were taken to the Central Hospital of Govisumber Province and seven to the Central Hospital of Dornogovi Province for health examinations and treatment. Although most passengers were diagnosed with light injuries, two were in serious condition and had to be transported to Govisumber Province for intensive care, according to the report.
The Central Hospital of Govisumber Province provided medical assistance with 37 doctors, 22 nurses, and two resident doctors. Staff from health centers and clinics in Dalanjargalan, Airag, Shivee Ovoo and Bayantal soums are also assisting. Fifteen buses were used to transport the passengers to hospitals.
The government requested assistance from Russia after their attempt to pull up the train with a construction crane failed. The train is said to weigh around 150 tons.
On Sunday afternoon, Deputy Minister of Roads and Transport Development B.Tsogtgerel reported that the Russian side agreed to provide technical assistance and expected it to arrive in Dornogovi Province by 10:00 p.m. on Sunday.
“This accident was caused by natural phenomena. Accidents caused by precipitation of 50 mm or more are classified like so. The precipitation level in Airag soum reached 82 mm before the accident. It’s still raining at the site,” said B.Tsogtgerel,
VISITS ACCIDENT SITE
A working group led by Minister of Roads and Transport Development J.Bat-Erdene and his deputy B.Tsogtgerel arrived at the accident site in Airag soum, Dornogovi Province on Sunday afternoon.
The group first stopped by the Railway Control Center. The railway staff in Sainshand soum started transporting people who had already bought two-way tickets between Ulaanbaatar and Sainshand to the next railway station in a bus. One of the staff reported that there had been considerable difficulty managing the traffic movement due to heavy downpours in recent days across south of Dornogovi Province.
“Due to last night (August 11)’s heavy downpour, the UlaanbaatarSainshand passenger train No.286 derailed at 4:50 a.m. (on August 12) around five km from Airag soum. This broke off the locomotive and pulled another four trains off-track. The train was transporting 329 people. Just 20 minutes before it came to this area, the Zamiin Uud-Ulaanbaatar international train No.33 passed through this area. Right now, train movement has completely stopped,” a spokesperson for the Ministry of Roads and Transport Development stated.
The accident site in Airag soum, Dornogovi Province