Iran detains 3 railroad staff over deadly train collision
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Iran detains 3 railroad staff over deadly train collision

Investigation ongoing into incident that left 45 dead, when locomotive hit parked train some 250 km from Tehran

This picture released by Iranian Fars News Agency shows the scene of two trains collision about 150 miles (250 kilometers) east of the capital Tehran, Iran, Friday, Nov. 25, 2016. (Saeed Esmaeilpour, Fars News Agency via AP)
This picture released by Iranian Fars News Agency shows the scene of two trains collision about 150 miles (250 kilometers) east of the capital Tehran, Iran, Friday, Nov. 25, 2016. (Saeed Esmaeilpour, Fars News Agency via AP)

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran’s judiciary said Saturday that authorities have detained three employees of the state railroad company over Friday’s train collision, which killed 45 people and wounded dozens more.

The Saturday report by Mizanonline.ir, the judiciary news website, said authorities are continuing to investigate the incident.

The accident took place in subzero temperatures near the city of Semnan, some 250 kilometers (150 miles) east of the capital Tehran, when a moving passenger train slammed into a second locomotive parked at a station. Several of the train cars caught fire, and the official IRNA news agency said Saturday that some of the victims were so badly burned that the bodies had to be identified through DNA testing.

Iran’s state TV said four of the fatalities were railway employees who were aboard the two trains when the accident occurred.

The TV said four carriages derailed and two caught fire in the collision. It showed footage of rescue teams working near the carriages on fire. The casualties from the crash were taken to nearby hospitals.

Provincial governor Mohammad Reza Khabbaz earlier told state TV that the parked train was apparently not inside the station but on a main rail line at the time of the accident.

The TV report said that 95 people who were injured in the collision were all in hospital. It said many of them only suffered minor injuries.

Iran reports about 17,000 deaths on average in traffic accidents every year. The high accident rate is mostly blamed on drivers disregarding traffic laws, old vehicles and inadequate emergency services.

Years of punitive international sanctions against Iran over its now rolled-back nuclear program have also badly affected the country’s infrastructure, including roads and the railway network.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press.

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