Four die in train accident, dozens injured

  • 2005-02-02
  • By The Baltic Times
RIGA 's On Feb.2 four people died as a result of a train collision near Riga's central station on Wednesday, with 29 incurring various injuries. It was the first major train accident in Latvia since 1975.

By Feb.3 six people were still hospitalized, including two in the intensive care unit, Emergency Medicine Center head Martins Sics told the Baltic News Service.

One of the patients in intensive care was the driver of the Lielvarde-Riga suburban train. It took rescue workers 10 hours to pull him out of the debris.

The interior and transport ministers, who were present at the site immediately afterwards, said this driver was likely to blame for the accident since he had failed to notice the red light and rammed into the Riga-Moscow train, which had been moving backwards.

Police have opened a criminal case. If found guilty, the driver faces 15 years in prison.

A special commission organized by the state-owned railway company, Latvijas Dzelzcels (Latvian Railway), is looking into causes of the accident.

The victims 's two men and two women 's have been identified. One of them was a 20-year-old assistant conductor. The other three victims were a young man aged 24, a young woman, also 24, and an elderly woman aged 56.

The tragic train collision took place shortly before 11 a.m. on Wednesday.