April 22, 2004

Horrible train accident in North Korea

News is starting to trickle in that two trains, each carrying flammable materials collided inside a train station in the North Korean city of Ryongchon around 1PM local time. From CNN: bq. Two trains carrying flammable materials exploded Thursday in a North Korean train station, leaving a large number of casualties, South Korean media reported. bq. South Korean media quoted witnesses saying the explosion was the result of a collision between the trains at Ryongchon station. bq. Details were not immediately available. bq. Earlier in the day, North Korean leader Kim Jong Il had passed through the station on a return trip from China, South Korean news network YTN said. bq. Ryongchon is northwest of the capital Pyongyang and about 50 kilometers south of North Korea's border with China. bq. Yonhap, quoting unidentified sources in the Chinese city of Dandong, said the trains were carrying oil and/or liquefied petroleum gas. From Reuters: bq. The sources said cargo trains carrying gasoline and liquefied petroleum gas collided at Ryonchon station 30 miles south of the border. And more: bq. North Korea appears to have cut international telephone lines to the area to prevent information about the explosion getting out, Yonhap added. The North appears to have declared a type of emergency in the area. bq. "We have not yet received official information on the accident. We are trying to confirm the report," a Unification Ministry spokesman said in Seoul. Other officials at various government agencies also had no information. This would be an excellent time for foreign aid to come in. The people of North Korea live in poverty and isolation -- if their government can be opened up, this would make life so much better for them. Posted by DaveH at April 22, 2004 9:00 AM