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Train derailment in Iran kills at least 17, injures 50

TEHRAN, IRAN (AP) – A passenger train partially derailed in eastern Iran yesterday, killing at least 17 people and injuring 50 more, including some critically, authorities said.

The report said the number of casualties could rise, though initial details about the disaster involving a train reportedly carrying some 350 passengers remained unclear.

Four of the seven cars in the train derailed in the early morning darkness near the desert city of Tabas, Iranian state television reported. Tabas is some 550 kilometres southeast of the capital, Tehran. Rescue teams with ambulances and helicopters arrived in the remote area.

Over a dozen people suffered critical injuries, with some transferred to local hospitals, officials said.

Iranian media quoted the governor of Tabas, Ali Akbar Rahimi, as saying the crash killed at least 17 people and that the number of fatalities may rise as rescuers search the train cars.

Aerial footage of the desert site of the disaster showed train cars on their side, with some rescuers running at the scene as they tried to care for those injured.

State TV later aired images from a hospital where the injured received treatment. One of those injured told the broadcaster they felt the train suddenly brake and then slow before the derailment.

The derailment happened some 50 kilometres outside of Tabas on the rail that links the city to the central city of Yazd.

The report said the crash is under investigation.

A partially derailed passenger train near the desert city of Tabas in eastern Iran. PHOTO: AP