Fourteen killed in Polish head-on train collision

March 4, 2012 05:36

SZCZECHOCINY - At least 14 people were killed when two passenger trains collided head-on in southern Poland late on Saturday in one of the country's worst train crashes in more than 20 years.

The two trains carrying an estimated 350 passengers were heading in opposite directions on the same track when they crashed at high speed in a rural area near the town of Szczechociny. At least 54 people were injured.

One of the green-and-cream colored carriages of an intercity train traveling to Warsaw had jack-knifed upwards from the force of the crash. Other cars had derailed and were lying on their sides.

"This certainly is the most tragic train catastrophe in our history in many, many years," said Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, who arrived at the site of the crash with several other government officials early on Sunday.

"At the moment we cannot with full responsibility give the final number of fatalities. We should expect at least 14, but we fear this number could rise to 15," he added.

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