Up to 22 killed in Indonesia train crash: police

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Up to 22 people were killed Saturday when a passenger train smashed into the back of another train on Indonesia's Java island, an official said.

Police said a traffic management error was to blame for the accident, which occurred in the early morning at the station in Petarukan Pemalang, Central Java province.

Officers at the scene said a train headed to Surabaya slammed into the back of a Semarang-bound train that was waiting at the platform.

"Up to 22 people were killed," railway company spokesman Sapto Hartoyo said.

Hartoyo said rescuers were still at the scene working to get people out.

"The suspected cause of the accident was a mistake in the traffic management system," national police spokesman Iskandar Hasan said.

Many of the dead and injured were trapped in three carriages, which had derailed and flipped over, officials said.

"The number of victims could still increase because the evacuation is ongoing," transport ministry spokesman Bambang Ervan told Antara.

Local media reported that rescue workers were late to arrive at the scene and lacked equipment to free passengers trapped in the wreckage.

In June eight people were killed in Java as several carriages of a packed passenger train derailed.

Poor infrastructure and weak safety measures have often been blamed for numerous transport accidents in Indonesia.

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