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Last Updated: Monday, 12 June 2006, 13:34 GMT 14:34 UK
Passenger train derails in Israel
Rescuers worked through the heat and chaos

A passenger train has derailed in Israel, killing at least five people and injuring more than 60.

At least two people are trapped in the wreckage of the train, which derailed after hitting a lorry at a level crossing near the city of Netanya.

"There was a jolt and the carriage went dusty and dark - and then it jolted again and the train stopped," one passenger, Naomi Lynch, told the BBC.

The train was travelling from Tel Aviv to the northern port city of Haifa.

As rescuers hand out bottles of water... in the searing heat, a yellow bulldozer... sends swirls of dust over the rescuers
Martin Patience, BBC News

At least three carriages were overturned in the collision. The impact threw the locomotive on top of one of the carriages.

Emergency services had earlier reported that about 150 people were hurt, but most of them were only suffering from shock or minor injuries.

Television footage showed the overturned carriages and medics carrying out injured people on stretchers.

'No foul play'

"I was thrown forward but not out of my seat," Ms Lynch, who was travelling in the carriage second from the end, told the BBC.

"People started climbing out of the broken windows and through the doors. And then that's when we saw that the carriage in front of us was up in the air," Ms Lynch, from Brighton, Britain, said.

"There's the carriage on its side and another carriage on top of it.

"But there was nothing from the carriage in front of us - there was no screaming - nothing," she said.

Israeli media reports say the lorry had stopped at the closed level crossing, obeying the red light, but was pushed onto the tracks by another vehicle that slammed into it.

Despite attempts to alert the train driver, he was unable to stop in time.

Israeli authorities say they believe it was an accident, and no foul play is suspected.

In June 2005, eight people were killed and almost 200 were injured near Tel Aviv in one of Israel's worst train crashes.

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I was on the train, still very shocked, looked like the movies, couldn't believe was happening
Malcolm, Tel Aviv

I came out of a my car after I saw a the dust cloud. There were lots of people, some hurt badly, other were helping. The train came off the track. It was a mess
Johann Sebastian, Tel Aviv

See pictures from the scene

Rescuers battle heat and dust
12 Jun 06 |  Middle East
Eight dead in Israel train crash
22 Jun 05 |  Middle East

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