1987 Bintaro train crash

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Bintaro train crash
Date October 19, 1987
Time 06:45
Location Bintaro, Jakarta
Country Indonesia
Rail line Tanah Abang - Rangkasbitung track
Operator PT Kereta Api
Type of incident Head-on collision
Cause Human error
Trains 2
Deaths 156
Injuries ± 300

The 1987 Bintaro train crash was a catastrophic collision between two passenger trains in Pondok Betung urban village, Bintaro, Tangerang, Indonesia on 19 October 1987. There were 156 fatalities, making it the worst railway crash in Indonesia to date.

A train departing from Rangkasbitung in West Java province collided with a train from Tanah Abang Station in Jakarta. An investigation indicated negligence from a station officer who gave a safe signal to the train from Rangkasbitung, despite the absence of safety confirmation from Kebayoran Station. The safe signal was given because lines at Sudimara Station were crowded.


The accident happened between Pondokranji Station and Tanah Kusir Cemetery, north of Public High School 86, Jakarta, near the Bintaro Highway curve, about 200 meters after the Pondok Betung crossing and 8 kilometers before Sudimara Station.

The accident[edit]

The incident was caused by the Serpong Stationmaster, having permitted KA 225 to leave for Sudimara Station without checking the railway condition at Sudimara Station. When the diesel-hydraulic train, KA 225 Rangkasbitung-Jakarta Kota, arrived in Sudimara Station at 6:45 AM (GMT+7) on 19 October 1987, the lanes were all filled with KA 225 in the first lane, KA Indocement in the second lane and a headless freight train.

KA 225 was intended to pass KA 220 Patas from Kebayoran to Merak. That meant KA 220 Patas at Kebayoran Station received lower priority for departure. The Sudimara Stationmaster ordered the KA 225's engineer to have his train hauled to the first lane. Five minutes later, Djamhari, Sudimara's Station officer, was telephoned by Umrihadi, the officer from Kebayoran Lama Station, informing him that KA 220 Tanah Abang-Merak had departed for Sudimara. Djamhari tried in vain to chase KA 225 while waving the red flag as the train moved at 50km/h. The two crowded trains collided on that Monday morning at Km +18.75. Both trains were seriously damaged. Both locomotives, Henschel-built BB303 and BB306, were heavily damaged. The death toll came to 156 people, while hundreds more were wounded.

Criminal sanctions[edit]

The driver of KA 225, Slamet Suradio, survived the crash and was charged with negligence causing death. He received the maximum penalty of 5 years. He felt the verdict was unfair as he was only following instructions from the station. He received no pension, despite more than 20 years of work for the rail company. Upon release, he returned to his hometown of Purworejo in Central Java province and became a cigarette seller.[1]

Adung Syafei, the conductor of KA 225, was jailed for 5 years and 6 months. Umrihadi of Kebayoran Lama Station was imprisoned for 10 months.

In popular culture[edit]

Iwan Fals wrote a song titled 19/10, referencing the date of the tragedy.[2] Ebiet G. Ade was inspired by the accident to write a song Masih Ada Waktu (There's Still Time).[3] A film based on the accident, Tragedi Bintaro, was released in 1990.[4]


  1. ^ "Bertemu Mbah Slamet, Masinis KA Tragedi Bintaro I yang Kini Jualan Rokok". detikcom. 12 December 2013. Retrieved 8 October 2017. 
  2. ^ "Kenang Tragedi Bintaro 19 Oktober 1987, Nyanyikan Lagu Iwan Fals 1910". TRIBUNnews.com. 19 October 2016. Retrieved 8 October 2017. 
  3. ^ "Bencana Galunggung, Tampomas dan Bintaro dalam Lagu Ebiet G Ade". detikHOT. 4 July 2017. Retrieved 8 October 2017. 
  4. ^ "Film Tragedi Bintaro, Angkat Kisah Nyata Kecelakaan Maut Bintaro 1987". infospesial. 10 December 2013. Retrieved 8 October 2017. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 6°15′39″S 106°45′41″E / 6.2607°S 106.7613°E / -6.2607; 106.7613