0504 GMT June 26, 2022
A passenger train was derailed in eastern Iran on Wednesday killing at least 21 people and injuring another 86 onboard, ISNA quoted a provincial emergency official as saying.
The incident occurred at 5:30 a.m. local time (0100 GMT) as the train was moving from the eastern city of Tabas to the central province of Yazd.
Announcing the latest casualties, Ahmad Dehqan, the head of Yazd Province’s emergency service, added the process of identifying the deceased is underway by the provincial legal medicine organization.
The train’s collision with an excavator parked close to the railroad has been cited as the cause of the incident, for which the excavator’s driver has been identified as the culprit.
Earlier on Wednesday, Mehdi Valipour, the head of the Iranian Red Crescent Society’s (IRCS’s) Rescue and Emergency Organization, said teams of rescuers have been dispatched to the site of the incident, which is located 50 kilometers from Tabas.
Reports quoting related local officials say that eight of the total 11 cars of the train have been derailed.
Valipour put the total number of people onboard at 430, giving the assurance that the rescue work is underway.
He added ambulances and helicopters have also been sent to the site of the incident.
Iranian Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi and Minister of Roads and Urban Development Rostam Qassemi visited the scene of the incident.
In the aftermath of the incident, in separate phone calls with senior local officials, Iranian President Seyyed Ebrahim Raeisi called for the mobilization of all resources to treat the wounded and ordered a comprehensive investigation into the cause of the incident.