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16 Killed in Indonesia Train Crash

December 25, 2001

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) _ Two trains crowded with holiday travelers collided on Java island Wednesday, killing at least 16 people, police said.

The early morning crash occurred in the town of Brebes in central Java, about 65 miles east of Jakarta. The two trains _ one traveling east toward the city of Yogjakarta and the other headed west to the capital _ rammed into each other in the town’s railway station.

Local police said at least 16 people died and many others were injured. However, Jakarta’s Metro TV news channel put the death toll at over 40.

Dozens of injured passengers were rushed to a nearby hospital and rescue workers continued searching through the wreckage for more survivors, the report said.

This is Indonesia’s busiest travel time, as people gather in their home towns and villages for both the Muslim and Christian holidays.

Indonesia has had a number of fatal train crashes recently. Officials have blamed signal failures for most of the accidents. With the economic crisis forcing the government to slash the transport budget, trains are often poorly maintained and overcrowded with people riding on the roofs and hanging out of doors.

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