Archive for August 8th, 2008

Cracow-Prague train crash 7 killed, 67 injured

Friday, 8 August 2008

The crash scene, photo Vladislav Galginek,
AP, Gazeta Wyborcza

(click to see photo in original context and remaining pictures)

Reuters and BBC News reported a serious train accident this morning at Studénka in the Czech republic close to the Polish border. The train involved was the 07:00 Eurocity express from Cracow, which was due to arrive in Prague at 13:59. At around 10:45 it hit a bridge which was being rebuilt.

The train was reported to have been travelling at 80 mph (130 km/h) when the driver noticed parts of the new bridge fouling the loading gauge. He made an emergency brake application and ran into the engine room and lay down on the ground. Six seconds after the driver first noticed the obstruction the engine hit the bridge. The first coach was severely damaged by the momentum of the carriages behind it. The second and third coaches slid past the engine and were also badly damaged. The remaining coaches suffered less damage.

Work at the bridge site had been going on since April. Today, the contractor was attempting to slide out the new steel decking across the railway tracks. It appears that Czech Railways had not been informed that this manoeuvre was to be carried out and no speed restriction was in force.

Preliminary figures released on Friday morning were 10 people killed and 100 injured. The latest figure given by Polish media at midnight on Friday were 7 killed and 67 injured.

Czech Railways map.