At least sev­en­teen killed, seventy in­jured in train crash in Tu­nisia


At least 17 peo­ple were killed and 70 in­jured when a rush hour pas­sen­ger train hit a lorry and de­railed at an un­marked cross­ing south of Tu­nis Tues­day morn­ing, of­fi­cials said.

Most of the dead were pas­sen­gers on the train, which hit the lorry around 60 kilo­me­ters (40 miles) south of the cap­i­tal, the trans­port min­istry said.

“The toll is cur­rently 17 dead and around 70 in­jured,” Mongi Khadhi, a spokesman for the emer­gency ser­vices told AFP.

An ini­tial re­port had put the num­ber killed at 14.

The in­te­rior min­istry said the train was en route to Tu­nis from Gaafour, 120 kilo­me­ters to the south­west.

The col­li­sion hap­pened near El Fa­hes at around 6:30 a.m. (0530 GMT).

Trans­port Min­is­ter Mah­moud Ben Romd­hane, who ini­tially blamed both the train and lorry driver for go­ing too fast, said the ac­ci­dent hap­pened be­cause there was no bar­rier at the cross­ing.

“The main cause of the ac­ci­dent is the non-ex­is­tence of a bar­rier ... and pro­tec­tion at the cross­ing,” he told ra­dio Shems-FM.

“In Tu­nisia, there are 1,150 rail cross­ings. Only 250 are equipped with sig­nal posts and bar­ri­ers and only 150 have lights. This is in­suf­fi­cient.”

An AFP jour­nal­ist con­firmed that there were no mark­ings at the cross­ing, near the vil­lage of Tabika.

Train crashes are com­mon in Tu­nisia, where much of the rail net­work is di­lap­i­dated, but Tues­day’s ac­ci­dent was the dead­li­est in re­cent mem­ory.

The pres­i­dency said it had called for an in­quiry “to de­ter­mine the cause of this catas­tro­phe.”


Tu­nisians sur­round the car­riages of a train af­ter it de­railed fol­low­ing a col­li­sion with a truck, killing at least 17 peo­ple near the town of El Fa­hes, some 60 kilo­me­ters south of the Tu­nisian cap­i­tal, Tu­nis on Tues­day, June 16.

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