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Commuter trains crash in Zimbabwe, 70 hurt
Updated: 2004-08-04 17:21

Two commuter trains crashed at the main station in Zimbabwe's capital Harare on Wednesday, injuring 70 people including three seriously, Deputy Transport Minister Andrew Langa said.

Langa said it appeared human error was to blame for the accident. There were no immediate reports of any deaths.

A Reuters witness saw at least four carriages lying on their side at Harare Station.

"Two commuter trains using the same track as they approached the railway station collided into each other," Langa told Reuters at the scene.

"The one which was behind did now slow down for the one in front. At this stage we are attributing this to human error," Langa said. "At the moment we have no reports of deaths."

"I saw one of the trains crash into the other," one man at the scene told Reuters. "People were wailing."

Rail has become an increasingly important mode of transport for workers from Harare's high-density townships to reach jobs in central Harare, especially as Zimbabwe's foreign exchange crisis has forced up the price of fuel for minibuses.

But media reports have complained about chronic underfunding and government officials have said the southern African country's rail network needs extensive upgrading.

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