A tragic train accident in eastern Tunisia claimed the lives of two individuals and left 34 others injured when an overnight passenger train derailed and overturned on Wednesday.
The incident occurred shortly after midnight near the town of Msaken, approximately 150 kilometers (95 miles) from the capital, Tunis, as the train was en route from Tunis to the southern city of Gabes, according to the state-owned rail company SNCFT.
The SNCFT confirmed that the train derailed, causing it to overturn and leading to the fatalities and injuries. The driver of the train and a passenger lost their lives in the accident, while 34 other passengers sustained varying degrees of injuries, the company stated.
Authorities have initiated an investigation to ascertain the circumstances and causes behind the accident and to determine any potential liability for those involved, as stated by the SNCFT. The investigation aims to shed light on the factors that contributed to the derailment and hold accountable those responsible.
This incident follows a previous train collision that occurred 15 months ago in the southern region of the capital, which resulted in approximately 100 injuries.
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Furthermore, in December 2016, the same area witnessed a collision between a train and a public bus that claimed the lives of five individuals and injured over 50 people. The SNCFT’s former chief executive was dismissed following the accident, which was attributed to faulty infrastructure.
Tunisia has faced significant rail accidents in recent years, including a major collision in June 2015 near El Fahes, approximately 60 kilometers south of Tunis. In that incident, 18 people lost their lives when a train collided with a truck at a level crossing due to a signalling fault.
The recurrence of such accidents underscores the critical need for enhancing rail safety measures and addressing infrastructure vulnerabilities. The authorities will work to determine the specific causes of this latest tragedy and implement measures to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future, prioritizing passenger safety and the well-being of the public.
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