7 killed, almost 80 injured in Morocco train derailment


At least seven people died and nearly 80 were injured after a shuttle train linking the Moroccan capital to a town farther north on the Atlantic coast derailed Tuesday, authorities at the accident site said.

The train derailed halfway between Rabat and the town of Kenitra, near the city of Sale.  Doors and seats were thrown out of place while passengers’ belongings and glass from broken windows littered the accident scene.

The injured were rushed by emergency workers to hospitals in Rabat, Sale and Kenitra while rescue teams searched for more victims with the help of cadaver dogs. Military personnel guarded the site as railway workers and authorities started to investigate why the train jumped its tracks.

Local residents in the town of Sidi Bouknadel were first on the scene to help injured or trapped survivors out of mangled train cars and covering the bodies of the dead. They reported the accident happened at around 9:30 a.m.

“We heard a gigantic explosion. The earth shook and the sound was unbearable,” Mourad El Kbiri, who owns a cafe near where the train derailed, told The Associated Press. “I rushed to see what happened. It was horrific. Disfigured bodies all over the place, blood and body pieces.”

The king of Morocco – Mohammed VI, offered to pay the costs of victims’ funerals out of his own pocket, state news agency MAP reported.



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