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BREAKING: Goods Trains Collided in Austria and Burst into Flames

BREAKING: Goods Trains Collided in Austria and Burst into Flames
photo: Tiroler Tageszeitung/Goods Trains Collided in Austria and Burst into Flames
23 / 01 / 2023

Two goods trains collided sideways in Fürnitz, Austria, causing one train to derail. Because fuel was stored in overturned tanks, the fire brigades were in action.

After an accident involving two goods trains at Fürnitz station (district of Villach-Land), a fire broke out on Friday morning. One of the two train drivers was taken to hospital with minor injuries, the second suffered a shock, ÖBB announced. The fire was extinguished by late morning, but paraffin had escaped in the accident, which is why the contaminated soil layer must be removed over a large area.

The accident occurred at 4.25 am. A 36-year-old German driver was driving a goods train coming from Thörl-Maglern in the direction of Villach, and at the same time, a 45-year-old driver was approaching him with a goods train. For reasons that are not yet clear, the train, which was being driven by the German, collided with the rear five wagons of the other train filled with paraffin.

The collision derailed two railcars, broke through an adjacent noise barrier and came to rest in the car park of a block of flats. Three cars parked in the car park were damaged. The 36-year-old man was injured and trapped in his cab. He was rescued by the fire brigades using heavy equipment.

In the collision, either the wagons' cargo or the wagons themselves ignited. Although the paraffin did not burn, it had leaked out during the accident, according to ÖBB. On Friday afternoon, the extent of the contamination of the soil was examined by experts from the province of Carinthia, and there was no danger to residents and surrounding buildings. Eleven police patrols, the Carinthian State Criminal Police Office, a police helicopter, an emergency doctor, several rescue vehicles and 300 firefighters were deployed.

Railway infrastructure was severely damaged

The accident caused severe damage to the railway infrastructure in Fürnitz, and clean-up work has begun. ÖBB long-distance trains can bypass the area locally, but local trains cannot stop at Fürnitz until further notice. The local trains of the S4 line ran between Arnoldstein and Villach Hauptbahnhof (central station) in a rail replacement service until Sunday, 22 January. The other regional trains stopped in Fürnitz. Freight traffic was not affected, ÖBB said.

Source: Tiroler Tageszeitung