Tag Archives: train

China arrests 3 more after deadly train station attack

By Kelcey Caulder

BEIJING, CHINA (BNO NEWS) — Three more people allegedly involved in last week’s deadly attack on a train station in southwest China were arrested on Monday, state-run media reported, adding that no other suspects were being sought.

The state-run Xinhua news agency, quoting a statement from the country’s Ministry of Public Security, said the three remaining suspects were arrested on Monday afternoon. It did not say where the arrests took place, the identities of the suspects, or any other details.

Authorities have blamed Saturday’s attack on a group of eight people from China’s restive region of Xinjiang, led by a person identified as Abdurehim Kurban. Police shot and killed four of the attackers and apprehended one female suspect at the scene of the attack.

The attack began at approximately 9:20 p.m. local time on Saturday when the group of eight people attacked a crowd at Kunming Railway Station, one of the largest railway stations in southwest China. The knife-wielding attackers killed 29 people and injured more than 130 others.

Yang Haifei, a local resident of Yunnan who was among those injured on Saturday, told Xinhua that as he purchased his ticket, he saw a group of people wearing black uniforms rush into the railway station. “I saw a person come straight at me with a long knife and I ran away with everyone,” he told Xinhua earlier.

The state-run news agency also reported that airport travelers would be subject to more scrutiny over their body and luggage in the future, adding that airports strengthened security measures and enhanced equipment in response to Saturday’s attack.

The train station attack followed a suicide car attack on Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in October 2013, also blamed on a group from Xinjiang. Two people were killed and 40 others were injured when a jeep drove into crowds of tourists and police officers near the entrance to the Forbidden City that bears a giant portrait of communist revolutionary leader Mao Zedong.

An estimated eight million Uighurs are living in the Central Asian region of Xinjiang, which is officially known as China’s Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region. A large number of Uighur are reportedly unhappy about the large migrant Han Chinese settlers, accusing them of making their interests less important and generally disregarding their culture.

Xinjiang was the scene of violent clashes between Uighur Muslims and Han Chinese in July 2009, leaving 197 people killed and more than 1,700 others injured. The riots were the region’s worst ethnic clashes in decades and the violence only stopped when a large number of troops were deployed to the remote western region.

Following the riots, China cut all communications from the region to the rest of the world, including international phone calls, text messaging, and the Internet. Thousands of additional security forces have since been deployed and thousands of ‘riot-proof’ closed-circuit television cameras have been set up in public places in an attempt to discourage any violence or unrest.

Suicide bomber kills 15 at train station in southwest Russia

VOLGOGRAD, RUSSIA (BNO NEWS) — Fifteen people were killed Sunday and dozens more were injured when a suicide bomber blew themselves up at a train station in southwestern Russia, authorities said, adding to security fears ahead of the upcoming Winter Olympics in the country.

The attack happened just before 1 p.m. local time on Sunday when at least one suicide bomber entered the main railway station in Volgograd, a city about 920 kilometers (571 miles) southeast of Moscow. Video from a security camera across the street showed how the explosion ripped through the entrance of the station.

Emergency services in the region said sixteen people were killed, including a police officer and the suicide bomber, while 37 others were injured, among them a 9-year-old girl. At least two of the victims remained in ‘extremely serious’ conditions on early Monday, Russian Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova said, indicating the death toll could rise.

The attacker was initially identified by police as a woman from the North Caucasus republic of Dagestan, but authorities later issued conflicting statements and indicated the suicide bomber may have been a man. The Interfax news agency, meanwhile, cited a source as saying the attack was carried out by both a man and a woman.

Vladimir Markin, a spokesman for Russia’s Investigative Committee, said the attacker became nervous when he or she saw a police officer near a metal detector. “It appears the number of victims could have been much higher if it had not been for the so-called ‘barrage system’ that prevented the suicide bomber from passing the metal detector to the waiting room, where there were passengers,” he said.

Markin, who said investigators also discovered an unexploded Soviet-era F1 hand grenade at the scene, estimated that the force of the explosion was equivalent to at least 10 kilograms (22 pounds) of TNT. “Currently, investigators are working at the site to examine the scene,” he added.

Sunday’s bombing came just over two months after a woman with explosives strapped to her body entered a bus in Volgograd and blew herself up, killing seven people and injuring 32 others. The attacker was identified as a 30-year-old woman from Dagestan, where militants regularly carry out attacks against security forces, police, and civilians, more than a decade after a separatist war ended in Chechnya.

Islamist militants in the region have been fighting Russian security forces for years, looking to establish an independent state in the North Caucasus, but attacks in other parts of the country are rare. Around 50 percent of all terrorist-related violence in Russia in 2010 happened in the mainly-Muslim region.

Chechen Islamist rebel leader Dokka Umarov urged his fighters earlier this year to do everything possible to derail the upcoming Sochi Olympics, but it is unclear whether his group was behind the two attacks in Volgograd. The Winter Olympics are scheduled to take place from 7 to 23 February in Sochi, a city on the Black Sea coast of Russia.

Umarov previously claimed responsibility for ordering the suicide bombing that killed 37 people and injured approximately 200 more at Moscow’s Domodedovo airport in January 2011. It followed a twin suicide bombing on the Moscow subway in March 2010, killing 40 people and injuring 120 others.

Train fire in southern India kills 26, injures 15

PUTTAPARTHI, INDIA (BNO NEWS) — An express train packed with sleeping passengers caught fire in southern India on early Saturday, killing 26 people and injuring more than a dozen, police and railway officials said. It is believed an electrical short circuit caused the deadly fire.

The incident happened at approximately 3:30 a.m. local time when the Bangalore City-Nanded Express was traveling just outside the small town of Puttaparthi in Anantapur district, located in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh. The screams of a woman who first noticed the fire woke up other passengers, after which a railway employee pulled an emergency cord to stop the train.

The first rescue workers arrived at the scene within 10 minutes, but locked doors and windows covered with bars left many people trapped inside as the fire spread through one of the carriages. South Western Railway confirmed 26 bodies had been recovered, many of which were charred beyond recognition.

At least fifteen passengers were rescued and taken to area hospitals, where some of them remained in a critical condition, indicating the death toll could increase further. A railways ministry official said approximately 65 passengers were inside the carriage when the fire broke out.

The investigation was still in its early stages on late Saturday, but police indicated that the fire was likely caused by an electrical short circuit near the air conditioning unit inside the carriage. Other railway officials disagreed with the initial assessment, but government officials pledged a thorough investigation to prevent similar incidents in the future.

In a statement released by his office, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressed his shock and grief over the loss of life in Saturday’s fire. He conveyed his condolences and sympathies to the relatives of the victims and instructed Railway Minister Mallikarjuna Kharge to render all possible assistance to the victims and their families.

The train fire comes only 18 months after a similar incident in the same region. At least 35 people were killed and 25 others were injured in July 2012 when a Chennai-bound express train caught fire near the city of Nellore, also in the state of Andhra Pradesh. Many of the victims were killed in their sleep as the fire was not discovered until it passed through a train station.

India’s railroad network is the fourth largest in the world and carries more than 14 million passengers and over a million tonnes of freight daily. But accidents are common, mainly as a result of poor maintenance and human error.

In July 2011, a total of 70 people were killed and more than 300 others were injured when a passenger train bound for the Indian capital of New Delhi derailed in Uttar Pradesh state. Just hours later, another passenger train derailed in western Assam state, injuring around 50 people.

‘Great Train Robber’ Ronnie Biggs dead at 84

LONDON, ENGLAND (BNO NEWS) — Ronnie Biggs, one of Britain’s most notorious criminals of the 20th century for his role in the Great Train Robbery of 1963 and his eventual escape from prison, died in London on early Wednesday, his spokeswoman said. He was 84 years old.

Biggs died in the early morning hours of Wednesday at the Carlton Court Care Home in North London. “Sadly we lost Ron during the night. As always, his timing was perfect to the end. Keep him and his family in your thoughts,” his spokeswoman said. He had been unable to speak and had difficulty walking after a series of strokes.

On his 34th birthday, in August 1963, Biggs was part of a 15-member gang that held up a Royal Mail train near a village northwest of London. They got away with more than £2.6 million ($ 4.2 million), equivalent to some £40 million ($ 65.5 million) today, but seriously injured train driver Jack Mills in the process.

Most of the gang was arrested about three weeks later and nine of them – including Biggs – were sentenced to up to 30 years of imprisonment. But just over a year into his sentence, in July 1965, Biggs was able to escape from Wandsworth Prison by scaling the wall with a rope ladder and dropping onto a waiting removal van. He fled the country soon after.

The bulk of the stolen money was never recovered, and Biggs told the BBC in 1993 that he had spent his share – approximately £147,000 ($ 240,000) – within three years. “I squandered it totally. Within 3 years it was all gone,” he said. He returned to the United Kingdom in May 2001, in part to seek medical treatment, but was imprisoned until his release on “compassionate grounds” in August 2009.

1 dead, 33 injured after Belgium train crash releases toxic fumes

WETTEREN, BELGIUM (BNO NEWS) — A train carrying chemicals derailed and caught fire in northwest Belgium on Saturday, releasing toxic fumes that may have killed one person and sickened more than 30 others, local officials said on Sunday. The cause was not immediately known.

The accident happened at around 2:30 a.m. local time when six of thirteen cars of a freight train, coming from the Netherlands, derailed in Wetteren, a municipality near the city of Ghent in the province of East Flanders. The cars then exploded in a ball of flames, triggering a massive blaze that lit up the night sky.

Authorities initially evacuated around 250 people within 500 meters (1,640 feet) of the site, but the evacuation area was expanded hours later when a “small amount” of toxic fumes was detected above ground. Police ordered residents in Wetteren and the nearby villages of Serskamp and Schellebelle to remain indoors with their doors and windows closed.

Firefighters were unable to fight the flames as it could have triggered the release of more toxic fumes, and it took until late Saturday afternoon before the fire in the last tank was extinguished. “The tank is still extremely hot and is being cooled with a foam carpet,” a municipality spokesperson said.

Officials had initially said the train driver had escaped safely and that there were no injuries, but residents who had been told to remain indoors later reported feeling ill and one person died. “It is unclear whether there is a connection between the death and the train accident. That is being investigated,” the spokesperson added.

But investigators could not rule out that toxic fumes were responsible for the death and those who felt sick, and some reports indicated the fumes may have entered people’s homes through the sewer. “Until now, 33 people with medical problems have reported to the emergency medical services,” the municipality said late on Saturday evening, updating the number from seventeen earlier in the day.

East Flanders Governor Jan Briers and Wetteren Mayor Alain Pardaen visited some of the evacuees on Saturday evening. Officials said about 500 people were evacuated in the immediate vicinity of the site, but only 80 of them went to an evacuation center in the city. The remaining 420 evacuees sought shelter at friends or family.

At least 2 killed in southern India train accident

NEW DELHI, INDIA (BNO NEWS) — At least two people died after an Indian express train derailed in the southern region of the country, local media reported Wednesday.

The incident occurred early Wednesday morning, shortly before 6 a.m. local time, when eleven coaches of the Muzaffarpur-Yesvantpur Express Train derailed. The mishap took place at Sitheri near Arakkonam, railway officials told the Hindustan Times

The exact death toll is unclear, as some local TV reports said as many as four people had died in the accident, although other media said only two had lost their lives. The number of injured also varies with figures jumping from 30 to 50.

Emergency teams from the Southern Railway were deployed to the site, where five air-conditioned and another five non-AC coaches derailed. In addition, one pantry coach was also shaken off its tracks.

Russian man falls off train, chases it for 7 km in extreme cold

BLAGOVESHCHENSK, RUSSIA (BNO NEWS) — Wearing only sweat pants and a t-shirt, a Russian man was forced to run approximately seven kilometers (4.3 miles) at minus 40 degrees Celsius (-40 degrees Fahrenheit) after he fell off a train in Russia’s Far East, transport police said on Saturday.

The unidentified 42-year-old man, who lives in the city of Bratsk in Irkutsk Oblast, was traveling on board a night train which connects Moscow to Neryungri in the Sakha Republic. The incident happened in a remote region of Amur Oblast in the East Siberian taiga, where stations are often far apart.

The man told authorities that he left his compartment and went for a smoke in the vestibule of the train carriage, which was the last carriage of the train. But when he finished his cigarette, the man opened the wrong door and stepped into the darkness, causing him to tumble out onto the railway.

Although he was not injured in the fall, the man was surrounded by taiga and was only wearing a t-shirt, sweat pants and slippers. Transport police in the far eastern region said the temperature was about minus 40 degrees Celsius (-40 degrees Fahrenheit) when the incident took place.

A spokesman said the man initially ran after the slow-moving train but failed the catch it, after which the train disappeared into the distance. But he continued running to avoid death by hypothermia and, after covering a distance of approximately seven kilometers (4.3 miles), he reached Richard Sorge station.

Police said the man received medical help after reaching the station, which is usually unmanned but happened to be staffed that night. Exact details about the man’s injuries were not immediately released, but his injuries were not believed to be serious and he was not suffering from frostbite.

An investigation is underway to determine why the door of the last train carriage was left unlocked.

Egypt military train accident kills at least 19, scores injured

CAIRO, EGYPT (BNO NEWS) — An Egyptian military train crash killed at least 19 army recruits and injured scores of others, local media reported said Tuesday.

The train was carrying 1,328 conscripts from Egypt’s Central Security Forces (CSF), when it derailed in the city of Giza, which is part of the Greater Cairo metropolis, and crashed with a cargo train outside a storage depot at the Badrashin station.

The 12-carriage train took off at around 6 p.m. local time and was heading towards Cairo, the country’s capital, when two of the train’s cars derailed, with around 200 recruits inside each one of them.

According to one of the victims who spoke with Ahram Online, those who died had been crammed into upper compartments usually used for baggage. The exact number of victims could still vary, but initial reports indicate that at least 19 were confirmed dead, while over 100 others were injured.

The train had been tansporting CSF personnel, which would make Egypt’s defense ministry responsible of the accident, but officials have been pointing fingers, saying the train belonged to the country’s state security department.

Egypt’s health ministry spokesperson, Ahmed Omar, told local media 66 ambulances were dispatched to the scene, as emergency teams rushed the victims to local hospitals. However, no further details were immediately available.

Train crashes into college bus in northern India, killing 7

NEW DELHI, INDIA (BNO NEWS) — A passenger train crashed into a school bus in northern India on Wednesday afternoon, killing seven students and injuring a dozen more, railway officials said on Thursday. The exact cause of the accident was not immediately known.

The accident happened at around 3 p.m. local time on Wednesday when the bus attempted to cross cross railway tracks between Pachrukhi and Siwan in the northern state of Bihar. The accident took place at a manned level crossing, indicating the bus driver may have ignored them.

A spokesperson for India’s Ministry of Railways said seven students were killed while 12 others were injured. The bus belonged to the DAV engineering college near the locality of Chap Dhala while the train was identified as number 13019, the Howrah-Kathgodam Express.

The powerful impact caused the engine of the train to derail, but there were no reports of casualties among those on board the train. The collision immediately triggered violent protests from college students who began hurling stones against the train. The protesters also set several empty train wagons on fire after the passengers fled.

Railways Minister C. P. Joshi expressed his condolences over the loss of life, describing the accident as unfortunate and tragic. He immediately announced an ex-gratia for the families of those killed and the students were injured, and the ministry said it will bear all the costs of medical treatment for the victims.

“The Railway Minister has given instructions to Railway officials for the speedy relief and rescue operation and for undertaking effective medical treatment to the injured passengers,” the ministry spokesperson said, adding that senior officials from both the ministry and North-Eastern Railways had gone to the scene.

Two killed in metro train crash on Madrid test track

MADRID, SPAIN (BNO NEWS) — Two people were killed on late Tuesday evening when a metro train slammed into a barrier at the end of a test track in a southern suburb of the Spanish capital Madrid, police and emergency services said on Wednesday. Two others suffered minor injuries.

The accident occurred at around 7:45 p.m. local time when the metro train slammed into a barrier at a maintenance garage near Loranca station, which is located in the Fuenlabrada area of Madrid. It happened on a test track where metro trains are parked at night and is off-limits to trains which are in service.

Officials said 36-year-old Jose Manuel Perez Garcia, a maintenance manager of the Madrid Metro Short Circuit, was traveling with several people believed to be family members and an acquaintance. Perez Garcia was killed along with a 17-year-old Swiss girl, believed to be the family’s babysitter.

Also in the metro train was Perez Garcia’s four-year-old son and an unidentified woman believed to be a relative, although it was not immediately clear whether she is the mother of the child. Emergency services said both the child and woman were initially trapped but they suffered only minor injuries and were taken to an area hospital, where they were later released.

An initial investigation indicates that all four people were in the train’s cabin when the accident happened, which is illegal according to the Metro’s safety regulations. Some local news reports indicated that the metro train driver may have wanted to show the train to his family, but an investigation is still ongoing.