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Toll could rise to 12 in Australian train collision

  Thursday, December 2, 1999
The death toll could rise to 12 in a collision between Australia's Indian Pacific passenger train and a
commuter train.

Although the official death toll is 5, New South Wales premier, Bob Carr who visited the scene told reporters "There are going to be, maybe, 10 or 12 families in New South Wales tonight who are going to be very sad". Up to 65 people were injured.

The accident occurred at 08:30 on Thursday morning when the commuter train collided with the rear of the Indian Pacific tourist train at Glenbrook in the Blue Mountains. The Sydney-bound Indian Pacific is thought to have been stationary or moving very slowly at the time. The bi-level local train, crowded with commuters was travelling in the same direction. It had started its journey at Lithgow.

One hundred and fifty nine people were travelling in the Indian Pacific and as many as 1000 were in the local train.

Reports state that just before the impact, the driver of the Lithgow train ran from his cab shouting for every one to get down. The front car collided with the rear-most vehicle of the Indian Pacific which was conveying motor cars belonging to passengers on the express. It tore throught the local train completing destroying the first car. All the deaths occurred in this carriage.

The cause of the accident is not yet known although there is some speculation that there may have been a signal failure. An independent inquiry will be held.

This is the worst rail accident in Australia since 1977 when 83 people were killed in an accident at Granville insydney. In this incident, another commuter train from the Blue Mountains became derailed and crashed into the support pylons of a bridge bringing it down on top of the train.

The Indian Pacific was involved in another collision earlier this year at Zanthus in Western Australia. Forty five people were injured when it collided with the rear of a freight train.
Join the discussion about the Glenbrook accident

Web sources:
At least six dead in train crash 02 Dec 1999
Death toll expected to rise in Blue Mountains train crash
ABC News Online 02 Dec 1999
Six Dead, 50 Injured After Two Trains Collide in Mountains Near Sydney
Bloomburgh 02 Dec 1999
Earlier Story

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This file last updated: Thursday, 02-Dec-1999 21:20:11 EST
Copyright © David Fry 1999

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