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Indonesia

At least 36 dead in Central Java train wreck

Reuters

At least 36 people were killed in Indonesia early on Saturday, when two passenger trains collided at a station in Petarukan Pemalang, Central Java province. Police say human error caused the Surabaya-bound train to ram into the back of another engine as it waited at the platform before dawn.

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All passengers have now been freed from the train, according to a police spokesperson.

As well as the 36 fatalities, more than 30 people were badly injured.

The rescue effort was delayed by the time it took to move the necessary heavy equipment  to the scene of the accident, a railway official said, leaving many victims trapped in the  wreckage of derailed and overturned carriages.

Police have pointed to "a mistake in the traffic management system", but the official cause of the crash remains unknown. A team of investigators has been sent from Jakarta.

Transport Minister Freddy Numberi promised a full investigation, and called for an improvement in the training of engine operators to avoid such accidents in the future.

Within hours of the crash, another train crash in the same province killed one person in the city of Solo.

And in June, eight people were killed when several carriages of a passenger train derailed as it travelled across Java.

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