Monday, October 2, 2023

Six Family Members Killed after Car Hit by Train

July 30, 2023 | 7:20 pm
Residents of Balongbendo subdistrict in Sidoarjo, East Java, dig graves for five members of a family who were killed after their car collided with a train in Jombang, July 29, 2023. (B-Universe photo/Slamet Wibowo)
Residents of Balongbendo subdistrict in Sidoarjo, East Java, dig graves for five members of a family who were killed after their car collided with a train in Jombang, July 29, 2023. (B-Universe photo/Slamet Wibowo)

Jombang, East Java. Six family members tragically lost their lives in a devastating accident when their rented car collided with an oncoming train at an unguarded crossing in Jombang, East Java, just before midnight on Saturday. The incident has renewed calls for the closure of illegal railway crossings, as the collision occurred at a crossing without barriers, warning lights, or dedicated guards.

The car, carrying eight people from the same family, was hit by passenger train Rapih Dhoho, and six individuals were killed on the spot. Two others sustained serious injuries, according to Supriyanto, a spokesperson for the local office of the state-run railway company KAI. The car was dragged around 100 meters before the train came to a complete stop.

Supriyanto revealed that there are 215 level crossings in Jombang and surrounding areas, with 127 of them lacking proper guards and safety features. The tragic accident highlights the need for improved safety measures at railway crossings, particularly those without proper warning systems.

The victims of the accident have been identified as Sutria Mingsih (38), her husband Wahyu Kuspoyo (42), who was also driving the car, their daughter Az Zahra Rohima Khoirunnisa (13), Sutria's mother Sumiyowati (60), and Sutria's nieces Alinsya Mareta Mingkana (16) and Adelia (19). The bodies of five victims were buried in Sidoarjo, while Adelia's body was laid to rest in Nganjuk, near her parents' home.


“The railway company must install barriers to prevent a repeat of the tragedy,” Adelia’s father Solikin told reporters during the funeral of his only child.

Calls for improved safety measures at railway crossings have been made, and public policy analyst Agus Pambagio emphasized that many crossings were constructed by real estate companies or local governments without proper authorization from KAI. These unauthorized crossings often lack essential safety features, posing significant risks to motorists and pedestrians.

Agus suggested that regional governments and real estate developers be required to construct elevated roads or underpasses where roads intersect with railways, ensuring safer crossings. Additionally, addressing the issue of illegal crossings is vital to prevent further accidents and enhance the safety of railway operations.

According to data from the Transportation Ministry, there are approximately 5,000 railroad crossings in Indonesia, with 3,121 of them lacking proper safety systems and standby guards. Among these, 628 crossings are considered illegal. A non-governmental group, the Indonesian Transportation Community (MTI), reported 1,782 accidents at railroad crossings between 2018 and May 2023.

While the state-run railway company, KAI, is not obligated to provide safety measures at crossings it did not construct, the responsibility lies with relevant regional authorities and real estate developers to prioritize public safety by implementing necessary safety measures at these crossings. By doing so, further accidents can be prevented, safeguarding the lives of the public and ensuring the smooth functioning of railway services.

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