Iran begins burying 320 dead in train fire

Feb. 20, 2004
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NEYSHABUR, Iran, Feb. 20 (UPI) -- Iran began the gruesome task Friday of burying at least 320 bodies in this week's horrific train crash and explosion, the BBC reported.

"There are 320 dead and 460 injured so far," said Ali Hosseini, head of the Red Crescent in Khorasan province, the scene of the blast.

"But many are still under rubble and we are expecting the death toll to rise."

Meanwhile, grieving relatives searched charred bodies to find their loved ones.

On Wednesday 40 rail cars loaded with sulphur, phosphorous, gasoline and industrial chemicals became unhitched shortly before dawn and rolled 12.4 miles before derailing and catching fire.

As firefighters tried to put out the fires, several train cars exploded around 9:20 a.m. local time near the town of Neyshabur in northeastern Iran.

The tragedy comes as Iran is still recovering from the deaths of some 40,000 in Bam from an earthquake late last year.

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