17 dead, dozens injured as train derailed

Iran Train derailment

FILE PHOTO: Train derailment in east Iran kills at least 17, injures 50.

Photo credit: Daily Sabah

A passenger train partially derailed in eastern Iran early Wednesday, killing 17 people, authorities said.

The ISNA news agency reported the crash, citing the Red Crescent organisation.

Around a dozen other passengers were injured in the accident near the city of Tabas, a spokesman for the national rail operator told state broadcaster Irib.

He said the train was on the route between the pilgrimage city of Mashhad and the desert town of Jasd, and that it is feared the number of casualties could rise.

The cause of the crash was initially unclear.

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Rescue workers rushed to the scene of the accident, located about 50km outside Tabas.

Helicopters were also deployed to rescue those who were seriously injured.

Several hundred passengers were reportedly on the train.

According to the national relief and rescue organisation, five of the seven carriages fell off the track.

The biggest train accident in Iran occurred in 2004, when a freight train loaded with chemicals exploded near Nizhabur, killing more than 300 people.

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