Seven killed in Sydney commuter train crash

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The Independent Online

At least seven people were killedand more than a dozen injured when a Friday morning commuter train derailed in a steep ravine south of Sydney.

At least seven people were killedand more than a dozen injured when a Friday morning commuter train derailed in a steep ravine south of Sydney.

The accident was near the village of Waterfall, on the fringes of the Royal National Park, soon after 7am local time.

All four carriages are believed to have left the rails, and rescue workers were trying to free people who were trapped. The double-decker train was carrying about 70 passengers.

Unconfirmed reports said that the death toll could rise to 20. "There are bodies all over the track and in the area of the accident," said an emergency worker aboard one of several rescue helicopters. The site is in bushland and difficult for emergency services to reach.

The southbound train left Central Station in Sydney at 6.24am and was due in at Port Kembla, near the city of Wollongong, at 8.15am. Television pictures showed the rear two carriages lying on their sides and the front two badly damaged. The front car apparently hit an electricity pole and the rear carriage seemed to have smashed into the front one.

It was the worst train crash in Australia since six people died when a train derailed at Glenbrook, in the Blue Mountains, in 1999. The New South Wales premier, Bob Carr, travelling to the scene, promised to hold a full judicial inquiry.

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