16 killed as train hits bus that ignored level crossing gates in Indonesia

(From agencies)

Sixteen people are dead and eight injured after a MetroMini bus was struck by a train in West Jakarta on Sunday morning, the second such incident in just over a week.

Indonesian firefighters move the wreckage of a minibus after it collided with a train in Jakarta

Indonesian firefighters move the wreckage of a minibus after it collided with a train in Jakarta

Police said the driver of the MetroMini ignored warning signs of an approaching train at a railroad crossing in the Angke area of West Jakarta. The bus was hit by an oncoming commuter train and dragged for at least 200 meters, witnesses said.

Police initially said there were 19 people in the bus at the time, but later updated the figure to 24. Sixteen people died in the collision. The driver, identified as Asmadi, 35, was injured and is being treated at Sumber Waras Hospital in West Jakarta.

Indonesia’s Transport ministry spokesman JA Barata said a team from the ministry and the National Transportation Safety Committee would be deployed to investigate the cause of the crash.

A spokeswoman for train operator Kereta Commuter Line said the accident happened shortly before 9 am when the bus drove past a closed gate at the level crossing before it was hit.

She added that the train driver followed standard procedures and sounded the horn to warn the bus before the accident happened.

None of the passengers on board the KRL Commuter Line train were injured, although the accident disrupted rail services in the capital.

Tambora neighborhood police chief Wirdhanto says the bus driver allegedly ignored the warning signals when he crossed the tracks.

He said the train was traveling from Jakarta to the neighboring town of Bogor with eight cars, and all train signals were working at the time of the crash.

On Nov. 28, a TransJakarta bus was struck at a railroad crossing by a train in West Jakarta.

No one was killed in that accident, and the bus driver has since been arrested and charged with criminal negligence and endangerment.

Transport accidents are common in Jakarta, where roads are heavily congested and buses and trains are often old and badly maintained.

In 2013, seven people were killed and scores more injured when a commuter train collided with a fuel tanker at a level crossing in Jakarta and burst into flames.

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