REVADIM, Israel — A passenger train plowed into a coal truck Tuesday and sent three cars tumbling off the tracks in a sunflower field in southern Israel, killing eight people and injuring nearly 200 in one of the country's worst train accidents.
Dozens of passengers were thrown from the somersaulting cars, and the wreckage was strewn across the field, far from main roads and cities.
In a country traumatized by years of Palestinian suicide bombings, officials emphasized that the collision was an accident, not an attack.
The comparisons were obvious. Dudi Greenwald, a medic who called Israel Radio from the scene, said he had treated casualties at several bombings.
"It's a horrible sight. It looks like a terror attack," he said.
"One of the railroad cars is upside down, and it's impossible to tell what's inside," he said. "It's the worst accident I've ever seen."
The passenger train, carrying 300 to 400 people from Tel Aviv to the southern city of Beersheba, was traveling as fast as 80 mph when it hit the 40-ton truck.
Army Radio said the train driver had been working 30 hours straight when the accident occurred. Police said they had started an investigation.
At least 62 ambulances arrived at the scene near the village of Revadim, about 25 miles south of Tel Aviv.