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Driverless tram causes second accident in Almaty with 5 injured

Photo courtesy of witnesses Photo courtesy of witnesses

A runway tram has caused a major road accident in Almaty for the second time, Tengrinews reports. The accident happened on October 13.

This time, the tram moving westward along Makatayev street left the rails and crashed 14 cars on the crossing of Seifullin avenue. All in all, the tram collided with 10 cars and despite the impact continued its way down the street to ram into 4 more cars.

Photo courtesy of Territoriya Proishestviy, STV channel

Photos courtesy of a witness

According to a witness, the road accident happened due to the tram malfunction. "I was leaving my office when I heard the thud. A tram was standing, glass shattered and passengers were leaving the tram. Then when passengers were asked what had happened, they said that the tram apparently broke down and the passengers along with the driver got out to push the tram. They pushed it and it started moving on its own down. It piled cars on Seifullin and caught one more car on the Makatayev-Baitursynov crossing," the witness said.

The Head Surgeon of Almaty Health Department Nurzhan Issabekov reported  5 people injured as a result of the road accident.

"In total 5 people were injured. Two of them were hospitalized to #7 Municipal Hospital and one patient was brought to the #1 Emergency Care Hospital. The other two patients were provided medical assistance on-site without indications for hospitalization. One of the patients hospitalized to #7 Municipal Hospital was discharged after a medical checkup with recommendations to be observed at his local clinic. There were no indications for his hospitalization. (...) One patient was hospitalized to intensive care unit. The patient is in a critical condition. The patient is conscious. The diagnose is severe craniocerebral trauma (brain injury)," Dr Issabekov said during a press conference.

Minister of Interior Affairs Kalmukhanbet Kassymov commented on the road accident. Answering the question from Tengrinews about toughening traffic rules in response to the second accident involving a driverless tram, Minister Kassymov said the investigation had just began and it was too early to speak about toughening of rules.

"The investigation underway. Conclusions will be drawn. Technical expertise will be made to determine the causes," Minister Kassymov said at the sidelines of the Parliament meeting.

When asked whether trams would be banned from Almaty, Minister Kassymov said that he was not in the position to answer that question.

Meanwhile, the tram depot has not commented on the accident.

The Department of Interior Affairs of Almaty (DIA) registered the accident in the National Register of Pre-Trial Investigations under the article 345 of Kazakhstan's Criminal Code. "Related expertise along with a complex of investigative measures will be made. The investigation will determine the circumstances of the accident," the DIA said.

This is the second accident involving a runaway tram. On September 21, a large-scale road accident took place on Shevchenko, Masanchi and Baitursynov streets when a driverless tram speed up crushing and crashing cars on its way. 5 people were injured and 17 cars were damaged.

By Gyuzel Kamalova


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