Skip to main content

Iran: More than a dozen people killed as train derails after hitting excavator

At least 18 people dead and dozens injured after train hit an excavator near the central city of Tabas
The deputy head of Iran's state-owned railways said that the train was carrying 348 passengers (AFP)

At least 18 people were killed and 86 injured on Wednesday when a train derailed near the central Iranian city of Tabas after hitting an excavator, state media reported.

The train, with 383 passengers,was bound for the city of Yazd when it collided with an the excavator before going off the rails 50km from Tabas where it had begun its journey, a railway official told state news agency IRNA.

State TV said five of the train's 11 carriages had tipped over in the early-morning accident.

Jafar Miadfar, head of Iran's National Medical Emergency Organisation, said on TV that so far 18 of the dead passengers had been identfied. All but six of the injured had been released from hospital, he said.

Iran: Building collapse death toll rises as protests continue
Read More »

Tabas is located in South Khorasan province, roughly 900km by road from Tehran.

Some of the injured were airlifted to hospital by helicopter, state television footage showed.

Rescue teams inspected the overturned carriages as onlookers gathered nearby, pictures posted by the ISNA news agency showed.

One of the pictures showed a yellow excavator on its side by the track.

The Tabas prosecutor visited the scene as a judicial investigation was launched into the cause of the derailment, Iranian media reported.

In 2016, two trains collided and caught fire in northern Iran, killing 44 people and injuring dozens.

The then head of Iranian railways resigned after four of his employees were arrested following the collision on the main line between Tehran and Iran's second city, Mashhad.