Eighteen people were killed and 70 injured when a train crashed into a lorry near the northern Tunisian city of El Fahs, authorities in the North African country said on Tuesday, June 16, 2015.
Witnesses said Tunisia’s worst train accident in decades occurred when the lorry was speeding across the tracks as the train, which was travelling from El Fahs to Tunis, passed.
Transport Ministry Spokesman, Kamal Samari, said that the lorry driver survived the crash and turned himself in to police.
“The crossing, which is in a rural area, had no barriers or traffic lights,’’ residents said.
Samari said the driver had “clearly” ignored road signs warning vehicles to stop before crossing the tracks, adding that an investigation had been set up to establish the full details of the incident.
The Transport Minister, Mahmoud bin Ramadan, described the accident as “tragic” and said that the railway line was not properly guarded.
“The country urgently needed a new road safety policy,’’ he added.
Figures from 2013 put Tunisia’s death toll in road accidents at 1,499.