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Turkmen Train Accidents Reported Amid Layoffs

TURKMENABAT, Turkmenistan -- A Turkmen railway official says staff cuts have jeopardized public safety after two passenger-train accidents occurred on the same day in Turkmenistan, RFE/RL's Turkmen Service reports.

A train traveling from the Turkmen capital, Ashgabat, to the eastern city of Turkmenabat crashed into two cars in separate places on December 7.

The first accident occurred between the Repetek and Zerger train stations in the early morning, while the same train hit another car two hours later. No casualties were reported in either incident.

The train arrived in Turkmenabat 3 1/2 hours late.

A Turkmen railway official who spoke on condition of anonymity told RFE/RL in Turkmenabat that safety at railway crossings in Turkmenistan has worsened since Turkmen State Railways recently laid off workers due to budget cuts.

Similar railway accidents involving motor vehicles have reportedly been occurring more frequently in recent months.