Four carriages derailed and two caught fire. The casualties from the crash were taken to nearby hospitals.

The provincial governor, Mohammad Reza Khabbaz said the cause of the accident was under investigation and that the parked train was apparently not inside the station but on a main rail line at the time of the collision.

“The initial investigation suggests that a mechanical failure, possibly caused by cold weather, forced the express train, operating between the cities of Tabriz and Mashhad, to stop (at Haft-Khan),” Khabbaz said.

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“I was sleeping when the crash happened. I thought it was an air strike … When I opened my eyes, there was blood everywhere,” a hospitalized passenger told state television.

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Earlier, Ali Asghar Ahmadi, head of Iran’s Red Crescent, told state TV that the death toll may raise further, based on unconfirmed reports from the site.

Helicopters and ambulances were sent to join the rescue operation, Ahmadi added.

YouTube video courtesy of News Archive آرشیو اخبار

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Iran reports about 17,000 deaths on average in traffic accidents every year. The high accident rate is mostly blamed on drivers disregarding traffic laws, old vehicles and inadequate emergency services.

Years of punitive international sanctions against Iran over its controversial nuclear program have also badly affected Iran’s infrastructures, including roads and the railway network.

Sources-

FOX News

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Reuters

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