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Passenger trains collide in Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur

تصادم قطارين في نفق بالعاصمة الماليزية كوالالمبور

DPA

More than 200 people were injured when two light rail trains – travelling in opposite directions but on the same track – collided in an underground tunnel near the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysian capital.

The accident took place at about 8:45pm (12:45 GMT) on Monday when one of the trains, which was empty after being repaired, collided head-on with another train carrying 213 passengers travelling in the opposite direction on the same track, district police chief Mohamad Zainal Abdullah said.

Pictures and videos circulating on social media showed injured and bloodied passengers – some of them sitting or lying on the floor – and shattered windows. An adjoining carriage seemed to be in darkness.

At least 47 people were severely hurt and 166 others sustained minor injuries, Abdullah told reporters.

The crash took place in a section of a tunnel about 100 metres (330 feet) away from the KLCC station. The line uses automated trains without drivers although on this occasion the empty train was being operated manually.

“We are still investigating the incident … but we suspect that perhaps there was a miscommunication from the trains’ operations control centre,” Abdullah said.

Transport minister Wee Ka Siong, who visited the scene, said one train was travelling at 40 kilometres an hour (25 miles per hour) while the other was going at 60 kilometres per hour (37 miles per hour). The collision was the first significant accident in the metro system’s 23 years of operation, he added.

It was not clear why two trains travelling in opposite directions were on the same track.

Afiq Luqman Mohd Baharudin, who was on the train, said it had stopped for 15 minutes shortly before the crash.

“We had only been moving for 10 seconds when the accident happened,” the 27 year old told Bernama, the state news agency. “The impact was really strong.”

People who were standing were knocked off their feet and others flung from their seats, he said. Afiq suffered injuries to his head, leg and chest and was among those taken to hospital for treatment.

Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said on Twitter that he took the accident “very seriously” and had ordered the transport ministry and Prasarana Malaysia, which operates the system, to carry out a thorough investigation into what happened.

د ب أ

كوالالمبور: اصطدم قطاران خفيفان عند تقاطع تحت الأرض بالقرب من محطة كيه إل سي سي في العاصمة الماليزية كوالالمبور مساء أمس. وأمر رئيس الوزراء محيي الدين إسماعيل بفتح تحقيق كامل في الحادث، بحسب وكالة بلومبرج للأنباء. وقالت صحيفة «مالاي ميل» نقلًا عن وزير الأقاليم الاتحادية أنور موسى: إن هناك مُصابين بين الركاب، لكن بدون وَفَيَات. وذكرت وكالة أنباء برناما في تغريدة أن نحو 166 راكبًا أُصيبوا. ونقل التقرير عن أنور القول: إن التصادم الذي وقع بين قطار شاغر وآخر يحمل ركابًا، وقع في نفق كيه إل سي سي. وقال محيي الدين في منشور عبر موقع التواصل الاجتماعي فيسبوك: إنه أمر وزارة النقل وشركة براسارانا ماليزيا بالتحقيق في مُلابسات الحادث واتخاذ إجراء صارم على الفور.

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