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Thousands stranded as train derails in Central Java JAKARTA - Thousands of travelers were left stranded at railway stations in Central and East Java when a train bound for the Senen railway station derailed in Karang Gandul, Purwokerto, Central Java, early Tuesday morning. The derailment, which disrupted the southern railway line, caused other train services to be delayed for several hours.
No fatalities were reported in the derailment which took place around 1:45 a.m. "Several passengers suffered minor injuries," spokesman for operational section I of the state-owned PT Kereta Api Indonesia (KA) Zaenal Abidin said. "The track was restored by 5:40 a.m. and now the southern line is back to normal," he said. The accident took place between Prupuk and Purwokerto in Central Java where some 500 meters of damaged railway track was discovered, Zaenal said as quoted by Antara.
As a result 23 scheduled train departures experienced delays. The influx of people returning to Jakarta from their hometowns after the holidays is increasing. In Yogyakarta, Minister of Transportation and Telecommunications Lt. Gen. (ret.) Agum Gumelar warned bus operators that his office will not hesitate to impose firm sanctions, including revoking bus permits, on companies found to have violated rules during the holiday exodus.
The minister claimed he had received several reports on violations during Idul Fitri such as the one allegedly committed by a bus operator in Aceh when it forced its passengers, heading for Surakarta, Central Java, to get off the bus in Cirebon, West Java. The abandoned passengers then continued their journey by train with the assistance of PT KA. The minister also expressed his concern over increasing vandalism.
"Vandalism, such as pelting stones at passing trains, is causing losses to train operators. Those people ought to do something better with their lives," Agum said during a visit to the Tugu railway station in Yogyakarta. Railway stations in Yogyakarta were packed on Tuesday. Travelers rushed to board the Empu Jaya, even taking up places in corridors and toilets. The 800-passenger train was believed to have been filled to twice its capacity.
The head of the Lempuyangan railway station Ahmad Hudori urged passengers not to force their way into the train for safety reasons. It mostly went unheeded. Bali also saw an increase in travelers. About 147 buses left the Ubung bus terminal on Tuesday, compared to the 116 on Sunday. An official with the provincial City Land Transportation Agency, Nyoman Sudika, predicts the departures would increase as the weekend approaches.
A long queue was also seen at Gilimanuk port as cars and passengers waited for the half-hour ferry ride to Ketapang, East Java. In Semarang, Central Java, head of the Terboyo bus terminal Kusnendar said his office had to use several additional buses to transport the hundreds of travelers bound for Purwokerto due to the late arrival of incoming buses on Tuesday morning. He said the delay of the incoming buses was mainly caused by heavy traffic congestion in the southern route.



Posted in Accidents @ 02 January 2001 00:02 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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