A train partially derailing off track in Eastern Iran on Wednesday(June 8, 2022) took away the lives of 17 people leaving behind 50 gravely injured and as preliminary investigations are still ongoing the number of casualties is expected to increase further.
The incident is said to have taken place in the early morning darkness near the desert city of Tabas, as per available sources four of the train’s seven cars had derailed off track. The incident taking place in the rural areas with poor communication slowed down the arrival of rescue forces. After the details of the incident were relayed, ambulances and three helicopters had been dispatched to the site. The accident happened 50 kilometers (30 miles) from Tabas, around 550 kilometers (340 miles) southeast of Tehran, on the rail line that connects the town to Yazd, the capital.
The cause behind the train’s sudden derailment is still under investigation, but reports and photographic material have emerged of the derailed train with a large excavator just off the tracks that show signs of collision. This has led people to speculate about the train colliding with the said excavator. This theory becomes more plausible when some of the witness’ testimonies of feeling the ‘train slowing down before suddenly coming to a halt after colliding into some object’, is taken into account.
In 2016, another train accident killed dozens of people and injured many more. The greatest train accident in Iran occurred in 2004, when a runaway train carrying fuel, fertilizer, sulphur, and cotton collided near the historic city of Neyshabur, killing 320 people, wounding 460, and destroying five villages.
Iran’s railway network spans 14,000 kilometers (8,700 miles) across a country roughly two and a half times the size of Texas. Its rail system transports people and commodities throughout the country, especially in rural areas. Iran also has one of the world’s worst road safety records, with 17,000 people killed each year on its highways. The high death toll is attributed to widespread disobedience of traffic laws, hazardous automobiles, and insufficient emergency assistance.