Train collision kills 196 in southern Mozambique

Sunday, May 26, 2002

MAPUTO, Mozambique -- A train carrying weekend visitors to South Africa slammed into a freight train parked at a station in southern Mozambique on Saturday, killing 196 people and injuring hundreds more.

Authorities were investigating the cause of the crash, and one official said it appeared to be human error.

"Dead bodies were lying all over," Antonio Cevere, who was traveling on the passenger train, told Radio Mozambique. Cevere was injured in the crash and said he was amazed to have survived.

Rescue workers with tractors and construction equipment were trying to free people trapped in the train's twisted wreckage, and officials said the death toll could rise in what was already the worst train disaster in the history of this impoverished African nation of 18 million people.

Palestinian woman, girl shot by Israelis in field

JERUSALEM -- Israeli troops fired tank shells and machine guns Saturday, killing a Palestinian woman and her 13-year-old daughter working in a farm field in the eastern Gaza Strip, Palestinian witnesses and doctors said.

The army said it fired and killed two "suspicious figures" who were bent down and were within 50 yards of the border fence that separates Gaza from Israel. The army said the area is currently off-limits to the Palestinians, adding that Palestinians have attempted to launch attacks in the area seven times in the past month.

Marwan Abu Said, a Palestinian witness and a relative of those shot, said the soldiers fired from three tanks patrolling the border, next to the flat, open field. He said he was not aware of any provocation that prompted the soldiers to fire.

"I tried to run to a safe place on another part of the farm" when shooting began, he said.

Pope's weakness seen during visit to Bulgaria

SOFIA, Bulgaria -- He is wheeled around in a cart, sits slumped in his chair looking exhausted and reads only small portions of his speeches, heavily slurring his words.

A four-day visit to Bulgaria has put Pope John Paul II's deteriorating physical condition in full view, alarming his hosts. But aides say he intends to continue his travels, feeling encouraged by outpourings of affection he receives.

The 82-year-old pope on Saturday made a pilgrimage to one of Bulgaria's holiest sites, visiting a 1,000-year-old monastery in an effort to end a millennium of distrust between Catholics and Orthodox Christians.

It remains one of the unfulfilled goals of his 24-year papacy, one he intends to pursue.

Sixty wedding guests electrocuted in India

NEW DELHI, India -- At least 60 wedding guests were electrocuted Saturday when the bus they were in hit a high-voltage power wire in northern India, news reports said.

Two passengers who fell out of the bus survived, Press Trust of India news agency reported.

The accident happened in a village in the Bahraich district in Uttar Pradesh state, 280 miles east of New Delhi.

The bus roof was piled high with wedding guests' baggage, which snared with the overhead high-voltage wire. The fate of the bride and groom was not clear.

Bus crash kills 11 on Mexico's Pacific Coast

MEXICO CITY -- A tour bus carrying oil workers and their families to a beach holiday slammed into a truck along a rural highway in southern Mexico on Saturday, killing 11 people and injuring at least 14 others.

The bus, hired as part of a beach trip organized by a local labor union for the state-owned oil company Petroleos Mexicanos, left the Pacific port city of Salina Cruz bound for the beach community of Santa Cruz Huatulco in a scarcely populated corner of Oaxaca state, 385 miles southeast of Mexico City.

--From wire reports

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