39 killed in Montenegro train mishap
The train derailed near Bioce, a village about 15 kilometers northeast of Podgorica, shortly after 4 pm.india Updated: Jan 24, 2006 03:35 IST
A packed passenger train derailed on Monday and plunged into a steep river canyon outside the Montenegrin capital, killing at least 39 people and injuring more than 135, the government said.
The train derailed near Bioce, a village about 15 kilometers northeast of Podgorica, shortly after 4 pm as it emerged from a tunnel above the Moraca River, police said. Interior Minister Jusuf Kalomperovic said initial reports indicated the train's brakes may have failed.
At least 200 passengers were believed to be on the train when it crashed.
Victims cried out for help from the ravine, where four train cars lay smashed. Darkness in the densely forested area was hampering rescue efforts.
Deputy Prime Minister Miroslav Ivanisevic described the crash "as the worst rail accident in the history of Montenegro" and warned that casualty figures could rise further as emergency crews continue to reach victims.
He said Andrija Lompar, the republic's transport minister, resigned because of the accident. A three-day mourning period was announced for the victims.
Police, medical workers and volunteers were pulling bodies from the 100-meter ravine.
First Published: Jan 24, 2006 00:34 IST