Fifteen killed,60 injured in Polish train crash

A head-on train crash in Szczekociny,southern Poland leaves 15 people dead and sixty injured.

Warsaw | Published: March 4, 2012 2:50 pm

Rescue workers toiled overnight to pull survivors from the wreckage of a head-on train crash in southern Poland as the death toll rose to 15 today,in one of the country’s worst rail disasters.

“We know that 15 people are dead. Unfortunately we have not yet been able to remove the body of the last victim. We can see it but not get to it,” Pawel Fratczak,a spokesman for the emergency services in Szczekociny told AFP

“I can say the stage of the operation to evacuate the injured is now over,” he added.

“We have sent in six sniffer dogs specially trained to locate survivors and bodies. They did not indicate anything. But we will not be 100 percent sure until we have cleared away the wreckage.”

Emergency services were preparing today to remove the mangled engines and carriages from the track.

“This is the worst catastrophe in years,” Poland’s Prime Minister Donald Tusk told reporters when he arrived on the scene late yesterday.

Sixty people were hospitalised with about half reported to be in a serious condition,rescuers said.

Ukrainian nationals were reported to be among the injured,while French and Spanish citizens were also on the trains but apparently not injured in the crash.

A total of 350 passengers were on board the two trains which collided head-on at 9:00 pm (2000 GMT) yesterday as they were travelling on the same track,according to Poland’s PKP railways

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