Four dead after trains collide on Indonesia’s main island of Java

At least four people were killed and two dozen others injured when two trains collided near the Indonesian city of Bandung on Friday, officials said.

The front carriages of both trains were extensively damaged and appeared in visuals as a twisted wreck. At least 500 passengers were evacuated.

The trailing cars further down the line had derailed and overturned along a section of tracks that traversed rice fields in West Java province. The four dead in the collision were all train crew. No fatality has been reported among the 500 passengers travelling in the trains.

The collision took place at dawn in the Rancaekek district, east of the city on the island of Java.

Videos from the scene showed twisted train carriages, with some veering off the tracks and into a nearby rice field.

The cause of the accident remained unclear. The collision involved an intra-city train, carrying 287 passengers, and a local line with 191 people on board.

The crash took place during the journey of the long-distance passenger route heading west to Bandung from Surabaya. Bandung is approximately 100 miles southeast of Jakarta.

Police spokesperson Ibrahim Tompo told reporters that all those injured in the collision have been taken to local hospitals.

“We also apologise for this accident which has disrupted railway services, especially in West Java,” transportation ministry spokesperson Adita Irawati said. The ministry has also launched an investigation into the incident.

In Indonesia, major train accidents have seen a decline in recent years. A 2021 study by transportation safety expert Hardianto Iridiastadi reported 35 nationwide train accidents between 2010 and 2016, resulting in 55 deaths and injuries to over 240 passengers, the New York Times reported.

Over 25 per cent of these incidents were train collisions, with others involving derailments or other causes.