1 dead, several injured in head-on train collision

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1 dead, several injured in head-on train collision

Two trains collided head-on yesterday between Taebaek Station and Mungok Station in Gangwon Province, leaving at least one passenger dead and 80 others injured.

The Mugunghwa, a popular train operated by the Korea Railroad Corporation (Korail), collided with a tourist train at around 5:51 p.m. on Korail’s Yeongdong Line. The line connects Yeongju. North Gyeongsang and Gangneung, Gangwon.

Approximately 100 passengers were forced to evacuate the cars. At least five people were reported to have sustained serious injuries and were transported to local hospitals, railway officials said.

The identity of the person killed in the accident, a female who appeared to be in her 50s or 60s, had not been confirmed as of yesterday evening.

According to authorities, the collision occurred near Sangjang-dong, Taebaek, soon after the Mugunghwa train departed from Taebaek Station in the direction of Gangneung. It derailed after a high-impact collision with the tourist train.

Firefighters were immediately dispatched to the scene.

The head of the tourist train was completed caved in from impact with the Mugunghwa train, leaving metal compartments and wiring dangling.

Officials from Korail and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport are currently investigating the cause of the accident and whether either of the trains ignored traffic signals.

BY SARAH KIM [sarahkim@joongang.co.kr]

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