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The BBC's Cathy Jenkins
"The accident happened during a heavy rain storm"
 real 28k

Wednesday, 16 August, 2000, 15:09 GMT 16:09 UK
Train crash in western Kenya

Ten adults and three children have died after a train ploughed off the rails in western Kenya, say police.

Rescuers struggled in poor weather for several hours to free passengers trapped in the overturned coaches.

Local police chief David Korir said 36 people had been injured and 19 admitted to hospital, three of them in a serious condition.

He said all the dead and injured were Kenyans.

The train was travelling from Butere to Kisumu on Tuesday evening in driving rain when it derailed near Lela, some 400 km north-west of Kenya's capital, Nairobi.

A ticket collector on board the train said the accident occurred on a bend on a steep slope.

Kenya Railways Corporation's James Omusi described the scene as "nightmarish".

He estimated that about 400 passengers were on the commuter train, and said the first two carriages were extensively damaged.

Screams

"There were many people trapped in the train and most of them were screaming for assistance," he said.

Kenya Television Network quoted eyewitnesses as saying that human heads and hands were visible through the mangled carriages.

The cause of the derailment has not yet been established, but it was raining heavily at the time of the accident.

The accident is believed to be the worst train crash to occur in western Kenya.

Thirty-two people died in a train crash in March last year between Nairobi and the port city of Mombasa.

In 1993 about 140 people died when a Mombasa-bound passenger train carrying 600 people plunged into a river.

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25 Mar 99 | Africa
Kenyan train crash kills 32
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