'Large number of casualties' after Israeli train derails

JERUSALEM - An Israeli commuter train derailed on Monday after slamming into a truck crossing the tracks, killing at least one person and injuring about 45 people, rescue services said.

Live television footage from the scene, near the city of Netanya in central Israel, showed a carriage on its side and medics carrying out passengers on stretchers.

"A train travelling from Tel Aviv to Haifa struck a truck at ... a junction," a police spokesman said.

"As a result of the impact, the first two carriages of the train were derailed. We are dealing with a large number of casualties."

Ambulances and medical evacuation helicopters rushed to the scene. Dazed passengers walked along the tracks, while others used cellular telephones to call loved ones.

Rescue services, updating casualty figures, said at least one person was killed and about 45 were injured. Earlier accounts said several people were dead and about 150 hurt.

A passenger, quoted by the YNet news website, said: "We overturned and passengers broke windows to get outside."

In June 2005, seven people were killed and more than 150 injured when a passenger train hit a truck south of Tel Aviv.

- REUTERS

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