Netanya train collision 311.
(photo credit: Israel Police)
Sixty people were hurt on Thursday morning when two Israel Railways passenger
trains collided near Netanya after one of the conductors ignored a red
Police said a preliminary investigation suggests the conductor of
a Netanya-Tel Aviv train failed to obey a stop light and directed his train to a
track on which a second train was coming from the south. The trains grazed one
another, and two cars were derailed.
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Rescue forces said most of those
injured suffered light wounds, with one in moderate condition. Emergency
services said that the relatively light injuries were a consequence of the slow
speed at which the trains were traveling, though several train cars were
Channel 2 reported that the conductor of the train that
caused the collision had six prior driving violations. The channel reported that
a similar collision was avoided on Tuesday in Haifa. The conductor in that
incident was disciplined.
Israel Railways said services between Tel Aviv
and Haifa would be suspended until at least Saturday night. Post-accident
clean-up work means disruptions and high passenger volume are likely on Friday
at stations nationwide.
No rail service will be provided at the Herzilya,
Beit Yehoshua, Netanya, Caesarea, Binyamina, Pardess Hanna or Atlit stations.
Stops on the Tel Aviv-Modi’in, Tel Aviv-Hod Hasharon and Haifa-Nahariya lines
will operate normally.
The Transportation Ministry said an inquiry
commission has been established in cooperation with the police. “The committee will examine
all of the causes of the collision,” it said, “and will submit its findings and
recommendations on how to avoid similar accidents in the future.”
ministry said the committee would have a month to compile its findings for
submission to Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz.
Israel Railways said
the trains’ collision avoidance system prevented a far more serious accident.
“The automatic stopping mechanism worked properly, and stopped the train
traveling toward Tel Aviv,” it said.
The crash came a day after an Israel
Railways passenger train began emitting smoke while traveling from Modi’in to
Tel Aviv – the third such incident in just four months. No injuries were
Last month a fire broke out on a Nahariya-Tel Aviv train due to
a brake malfunction, but no injuries were reported.
In December, 120 people were hurt when fire broke out on a train
carrying 400 people near Netanya
due to a gas leak. Three railway cars were entirely burned, and some passengers
were forced to evacuate through windows.