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Indonesian ferry fire, train collision kill 16

 Ferry fire survivors prepare to disembark a rescue ship upon arrival at a port in Merak, Banten province, Indonesia, Friday, Jan. 28, 2011. A transpo...
 Rescuers carry a ferry fire survivor at port in Merak, Banten province, Indonesia, Friday, Jan. 28, 2011. A transportation ministry spokesman said th...
 Port officials carry a ferry fire survivor at port in Merak, Banten province, Indonesia, Friday, Jan. 28, 2011. A transportation ministry spokesman s...
 Port officials carry a ferry fire survivor at port in Merak, Banten province, Indonesia, Friday, Jan. 28, 2011. A transportation ministry spokesman s...
 A firefighter looks at thick smoke billow from a ferry that caught fire off Java island, in Serang, Banten province, Indonesia, Friday, Jan. 28, 2011...
 Police officers look at a ferry that caught fire off Java island, in Serang, Banten province, Indonesia, Friday, Jan. 28, 2011. The crowded ferry cau...

Indonesia Ferry Fire

Ferry fire survivors prepare to disembark a rescue ship upon arrival at a port in Merak, Banten province, Indonesia, Friday, Jan. 28, 2011. A transpo...

Indonesia Ferry Fire

Rescuers carry a ferry fire survivor at port in Merak, Banten province, Indonesia, Friday, Jan. 28, 2011. A transportation ministry spokesman said th...

Indonesia Ferry Fire

Port officials carry a ferry fire survivor at port in Merak, Banten province, Indonesia, Friday, Jan. 28, 2011. A transportation ministry spokesman s...

Indonesia Ferry Fire

Port officials carry a ferry fire survivor at port in Merak, Banten province, Indonesia, Friday, Jan. 28, 2011. A transportation ministry spokesman s...

Indonesia Ferry Fire

A firefighter looks at thick smoke billow from a ferry that caught fire off Java island, in Serang, Banten province, Indonesia, Friday, Jan. 28, 2011...

Indonesia Ferry Fire

Police officers look at a ferry that caught fire off Java island, in Serang, Banten province, Indonesia, Friday, Jan. 28, 2011. The crowded ferry cau...

Hundreds of people were injured in Indonesia early Friday when two passenger trains collided and a crowded ferry burst into flames, officials said. The death toll from the twin disasters stood at 16.
The accidents occurred 30 minutes apart on the main island of Java.
At 2:30 a.m., an eastbound train stopped on a track on the outskirts of Banjar, a village in West Java province, and was hit head-on by another slow-moving train that was trying to switch lanes.
"We're still investigating," said Bambang Ervan, a spokesman for the Transportation Ministry, as rescuers shuttled dozens of injured to nearby hospitals, some in critical condition.
At least five people died, said railway spokesman Bambang Supriyanto.
Thirty minutes later and 225 miles (360 kilometers) to the west, a crowded ferry caught fire in waters just off Java, sending panicked passengers jumping into the water.
Ervan said the blaze broke out just 40 minutes after the ship left Merak port for neighboring Sumatra island.
Billowing clouds of black smoke could be seen from the shore, hundreds of yards (meters) away, and five rescue ships rushed to the scene, carrying more than 400 survivors to safety.
The cause of the accident was not immediately clear, but some survivors told MetroTV they thought it was started by a man who threw his lit cigarette butt onto the deck.
Indonesia,an archipelago nation with more than 17,000 islands and 235 million people, has been plagued by a string of transportation accidents in recent years, from plane and train crashes to ferry sinkings. Overcrowding, aging infrastructure and poor safety standards are often to blame.
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Associated Press writer Ali Kotarumalos contributed to this report from Jakarta.


Updated : 2021-04-18 09:54 GMT+08:00