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The biggest railway accidents: Romania, the second biggest railway accident in the world

The biggest railway accidents: Romania, the second biggest railway accident in the world
photo: https://www.dailystar.co.uk/pics/pictures/gallery/worst-train-crashes-history-18345388/Romania railway accident
27 / 12 / 2020

The world's second largest railway accident took place in Romania more than a hundred years ago. The "Courier" train had a total of 26 wagons and was moving on the route from Galați to Iasi. The tragical date was Friday, January 11, 1917.

The train started several hours late. The cause was the necessary replacement of the locomotive, which was damaged during the bombing by German aircraft. Hundreds of people traveled in the train, many of them used this connection to get out of the city, which was plagued by war at the time. Among other passengers, soldiers and students also traveled by this train. By chance Romanian former Minister of Finance Emil Costinescu was being present. The demand for the train was extremely high. Cars were overcrowded even though several another wagons was attached to it. Some of the them had no heating or windows.

On the way to Iasi, the train was hit by a heavy snowstorm. Therefore, it had to stop for the night at the station in Bârladu. In the morning, as the weather improved, the train continued on to Ciurea station. This station was close to the final destination of the train, the train had to cover last few kilometers of the route.

It was on these last kilometers that the fatal accident occurred. The reason was a closed brake line valve. The brakes were only functional in the first two cars. The train was traveling at 95 km / hour at the time of the accident and could not be stopped. As a result, the train derailed and collided with a locomotive standing on the other track. The train was heavily damaged, except of two cars all wagons derailed. Some cars crashed into fuel tanks, causing an explosion and a subsequent fire.

The exact number of victims is unknown. It is estimated that there were between 800 - 1000. As the train was overcrowded, some passengers even traveled on the roof of the train. Due to the war period, there was not much information about the accident and many people did not know about it at all.

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