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35 killed in train collision in Iran

The rescue teams were soon dispatched to the crash site but subzero temperature has made it difficult for rescue forces and firefighters to get to the scene timely, but eventually the firefighters succeeded in putting out the blaze, Ali Yahyaei, a provincial rescue and relief official said.

At least 35 people have been killed and 100 others injured when two passenger trains collided in Iran’s north-central province of Semnan, BBC reported. Ali Asghar Ahmadi, head of Iran’s Red Crescent, told state TV the death toll was likely to rise, based on unconfirmed reports from the site.

According to Tehran Times, the two trains collided early Friday in Haft-Khan station in the city of Shahroud, about 400 kilometers east of Tehran. Four carriages derailed and two caught fire. Those injured in the crash were taken to nearby hospitals.

The rescue teams were soon dispatched to the crash site but sub zero temperature has made it difficult for rescue forces and firefighters to get to the scene timely, but eventually the firefighters succeeded in putting out the blaze, Ali Yahyaei, a provincial rescue and relief official said.

Initial reports said eight people were killed but the provincial governor, Mohammad Reza Khabbaz, later told state TV more bodies were recovered at the scene.

Khabbaz said the cause of the accident was under investigation and that the parked train was apparently not inside the station but on a main rail line at the time of the collision.

BBC quoted the head of the province’s Red Crescent Hassan Shokrollahi saying “Because of the difficulty of access, only our helicopter has managed to reach the scene.”

President Hassan Rouhani has urged all the responsible bodies, especially the transport ministry, to investigate the incident, announce reasons behind it, and name the probable guilty persons, IRNA reported.

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