There were fears that the death toll in Yugoslavia's worst rail disaster could rise as high as 170, as rescue workers toiled today (31 August) amongst the wreckage of an express which careered off the rails at Zagreb station the previous night.
GV PAN Derailed carriages & rescue workers (2 shots)
GV TILT DOWN Crane above derailed carriage
LV ZOOM IN Rescue workers with stretcher
GV Workers amidst debris, some carrying another stretcher (3 shots)
GVs Rescue workers, wrecked carriages, debris (9 shots)
GV Rescue workers with stretcher PAN TO others
GV Man spraying debris
Initials BB/0017 TH/PN/BB/0032
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Background: There were fears that the death toll in Yugoslavia's worst rail disaster could rise as high as 170, as rescue workers toiled today (31 August) amongst the wreckage of an express which careered off the rails at Zagreb station the previous night.
One survivor spoke of the train entering the station at high speed, "like a torpedo". The locomotive stayed on the lines, dragging seven derailed coaches for 400 yards and smashing them against power-line poles, platforms and railway buildings.
As troops, firemen and rail workers toiled among the shattered wreckage one doctor said the remains of 120 bodies had already been counted, and there could be 50 moire under two coaches still to be lifted by rescue teams. At that time, the known death toll stood at 100. A further 98 people were injured.
An immediate investigation was started. And the chief investigator told newsmen that four railmen were arrested soon after the accident: the driver and his assistant, who were taken to hospital for blood tests, and two signalmen.
The investigator added that it had been established that a signal prior to the station was faulty and that the train sped through a later signal set at red. Checks suggested that the track was in order, but the train's braking system was still being examined.
The overnight rail disaster tanks as one of the worst two dozen since world War Two. A day of national mourning has been declared in Yugoslavia.
SYNOPSIS: The scene of Yugoslavia's worst tail disaster. Coaches of an express train careered off the rails at Zagreb station late Friday night, and as the rescue work continued the following morning the death toll steadily mounted. As these scenes were filmed, one-hundred bodies had been recovered. But a doctor at the scene estimated that the toll could rise as high as a hundred and seventy. Ninety-eight people were injured.
While the rescue work continued, an official enquiry was already underway. Witnesses spoke of the train entering Zagreb station at high speed. One survivor said the train hurtled into the station like a torpedo.
The locomotive stayed on the lines, but seven coaches toppled on their sides, and the engine dragged them about four-hundred yards up the track, smashing them against platforms, buildings and power-line poles.
The chief investigator told newsmen that four railwaymen had been arrested immediately after the crash. They were the driver and his assistant, who were taken to hospital for blood tests, and two signalmen. The investigator added that ti had already been established that one signal before the station had been faulty, and that the train had sped through another signal at red. Checks suggested that the railway track was in order, but the train's braking system was being thoroughly examined by the investigation team.
Troops have joined firemen and railway workers in the rescue operation. It's one of the twenty-four worst rail disasters in the world since the Second World War.