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Russia -The Moscow Times. com: Train Derailment Kills Dozens in Montenegro

Published date: 25.01.2006 14:52 | Author: Kliping inostranih medija

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Train Derailment Kills Dozens in Montenegro

By Predrag Milic
The Associated Press
BIOCE, Serbia-Montenegro -- Emergency teams resumed searching the wreckage of a four-car passenger train Tuesday, which derailed and plunged into a river canyon outside the Montenegrin capital, killing at least 44 people and injuring 198, officials said.

The train derailed near Bioce, a village about 15 kilometers northeast of Podgorica, shortly after 4 p.m. local time Monday, as it emerged from a tunnel above the Moraca River, police said. Initial reports indicated the train's brakes might have failed, said Interior Minister Jusuf Kalamperovic. The train's driver was arrested under suspicion of negligence.

At least 250 passengers, many of them schoolchildren returning from a ski trip, were believed to be on the train when it crashed, in what was among the deadliest European train accidents in 25 years.

Victims cried for help from the ravine, where four train cars lay smashed. Darkness in the densely forested area was hampering rescue efforts. Bodies were entangled in the mangled train cars and strewn around the nearby patches of thick woodland.

"The train simply went wild, out of control," a man said as blood poured down his forehead. "I was fine as I was in a back compartment, those in the front got the worst of it."

The death toll was 44, including five passengers who died overnight, while 198 people were injured, 90 of them children, said Miodrag Djurovic, the head of the main Podgorica hospital.