Two carriages of a train bound for Vienna derailed on a straight track and tipped onto their sides. Three Hungarians were injured in the accident, including the 52-year-old Hungarian driver, who was taken to hospital in critical condition. A 25-year-old Austrian was killed in the accident, and thirteen other people were injured.
This article was originally published on our sister-site, Ungarn Heute.
The train on the Sopronkeresztúr (Deutschkreutz) – Sopron – Vienna – Pozsonyligetfalu (Petržalka) line, which was traveling from Sopron to Vienna at the time of the accident, derailed near Münchendorf at around half past six on Monday evening. In addition to the driver, there were 56 people on board. Two carriages that had detached from the train slid down the embankment and came to rest on their sides.
Rescue teams were deployed in large numbers, including four rescue helicopters. The trapped Hungarian train driver had to be freed by the fire department using hydraulic rescue equipment. He was taken to a Vienna hospital by rescue helicopter in critical condition, reports the Austrian portal Kurier. According to Heute, the 52-year-old’s condition has since stabilized. Uninjured people were cared for by helpers at a nearby Red Cross disaster camp.
The section where the Hungarian-Austrian GYSEV derailed was opened in 2019. Since then, the line has been allowed to travel at 160 km/h (the speed at which the affected Ventus multiple units can travel). Since 2019, it has also been possible to change tracks on this section of the double-track railroad line, but at a maximum speed of 60 km/h, according to an Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB) spokesman.
The train was traveling at well over 100 km/h immediately before the derailment. It is not yet known whether the section’s switch was set to change tracks. If so, that would explain the accident, experts say.
Featured image via the Facebook page of District Fire Brigade Command Mödling