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15 Dead in Polish Train Collision

At least 15 people are dead and 54 injured in a head-on collision between two trains in Poland late Saturday night.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 3/4/2012, 11:33 AM

Train wreck in southern Poland
Train wreck in southern Poland
Reuters

At least 15 people died and 54 others were injured late Saturday night when two trains crashed in a head-on collision just south of Warsaw.

Foreign passengers included Ukrainian, Spanish and French nationals, but none of those appeared to be among the dead or severely wounded, said Prime Minister Donald Tusk.

It is not known whether there were any Israelis with dual nationality among the passengers. Most people with dual Israeli nationality travel abroad using their foreign passports, especially in eastern European countries, often making it difficult to discover whether they are involved in natural and other disasters.

A total of about 350 people were involved in the accident, according to the prime minister. “This is our most tragic train disaster in many, many years,” Tusk said, having visited the site early Sunday morning.

It is not clear how the two trains managed to be traveling toward each other on the same track at the same time, he told reporters. The collision occurred at the small town of Szczekociny, where maintenance work was being performed on the tracks. 

The train that had been traveling on the correct track had been heading to Warsaw from the eastern city of Przemysl. However, the second train, for an as yet-unexplained reason, had departed Warsaw and was heading south towards Krakow.

An investigation is underway.