Monday, October 31, 2011

Eight hurt in massive explosion after train collides with oil tanker Read more: Eight hurt in massive explosion after train collides with oil tanker

A passenger train crashed into an oil tanker at a crossing near the Kota Kinabalu International Airport at about 5.30pm today. Several train passengers sustained injuries but no casualties were reported. Witnesses at the scene described hearing a loud explosion then seeing flames and smoke billowing from the scene of the accident. The thick smoke could be seen from as far away as the city centre here -- about five km away. The train was on its way to Papar according to its daily weekday schedule, ferrying office workers from the city centre.

No fatalities were reported, but so far eight people were injured in a massive explosion due to a collision between a train and a fuel tanker in front of the Kota Kinabalu International Airport, this evening.

Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Hamza Taib told reporters at the scene that the rest of the passengers in the carriages either managed to escape when the collision occurred about 5.30pm or rescued when firefighters arrived.

The victims were immediately sent to Queen Elizabeth Hospital for treatment, he said..

According to Hamza, the fuel tanker was crossing the railway track to send fuel to a gas station, but was not quick enough to completely cross the track, causing the train to ram into it.

He said the 41-year-old driver was taken by police for further investigation, while the 51-year-old train driver sustained injuries on his legs.

Sabah Fire and Rescue Department director Nordin Fauzi said five fire-engines were despatched from the Kota Kinabalu, Penampang and Lintas fire stations.

He said they were also assisted by a water tanker and two fire-engines from the Airport Fire and Rescue Unit.

A Malaysia Airlines staff, Busri Asad, 39, related seeing some passengers escaping from the train windows when the collision occurred.

"I also saw people running to the back of the carriages. About 10 minutes after the collision, there was an explosion and a massive fire broke out," he said.

Busri was across the road from the incident after he finished work at the airport.

A press secretary to a state minister, Arshad Hussin, said he was about 700 metres away from the scene.

"I was on my way home and wanted to fill petrol at the gas station. But I decided to stop my car on the roadside when I realised there was a massive fire and heavy smoke from the gas station.

"The traffic (on the three-lane road) stopped before the accident site and other vehicles moved to the far right lane, making the left lane vacant," he said, adding that he also heard two explosions.

He also noticed people in the train running to the back of the carriages.

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