Train tragedy in storm kills six

Daily Express - - News - By John Fitz­patrick

SIX peo­ple died when a pas­sen­ger train was hit by de­bris from a freight wagon on a bridge link­ing Den­mark’s two main is­lands yes­ter­day.

There were 16 more ca­su­al­ties on the in­ter­city ex­press car­ry­ing 131 pas­sen­gers to­wards Copen­hagen.

Re­ports claimed the train was hit by a trailer or tar­pau­lin that had come loose from a pass­ing Carls­berg freight train. Po­lice said there had been “con­sid­er­able dam­age” to the train but were un­able to con­firm the ex­act cause.

A pas­sen­ger said: “There was a very, very loud bang and then the train stopped.” An­other wit­ness said sur­vivors had to step over dead bod­ies in order to es­cape.

The ac­ci­dent hap­pened dur­ing a se­vere storm that ham­pered the res­cue op­er­a­tion on the 11-mile Great Belt Bridge be­tween Zealand and Funen. Dan­ish prime min­is­ter Lars Lokke Ras­mussen said the ac­ci­dent had “shaken us all”. He tweeted: “Or­di­nary Danes on their way to work or on the way home from Christ­mas hol­i­days have had their lives shat­tered.”

An in­ves­ti­ga­tion showed a trailer had blown off a freight wagon. The Great Belt, part of a route that links Den­mark and Swe­den to Ger­many, car­ries around 21,000 pas­sen­gers and 27,000 ve­hi­cles daily.

Swedish prime min­is­ter Ste­fan Lofven blamed the weather for the “ter­ri­ble train ac­ci­dent”. He said: “Our thoughts are with the in­jured and with the fam­i­lies and rel­a­tives of the dead.”

The smashed front of the pas­sen­ger train in the crash on the bridge, above

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