News World Death toll in Denmark trains tragedy rises to eight
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Death toll in Denmark trains tragedy rises to eight

A passenger train on the Great Belt Bridge after the accident at Nyborg, Denmark that has killed six people. Photo: AFP/Getty
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Danish police have revised the death toll in Wednesday’s rail accident to eight after the discovery of two more bodies in the wreckage overnight.

Still reeling from the worst railway accident in Denmark since 1988, Funen chief of police Lars Braemhoj explained that any fatally injured passengers would have been located in the front carriage, and said that police are now confident that no one is left in the train.

Police spokesman Arne Gram said five women and three men were killed in the accident on the Great Belt Bridge, which connects the islands of Funen and Zealand.

On a positive note, the university hospital in the city of Odense said 14 of the 16 injured have since left the facility.

The accident is believed to have occurred after a passenger train travelling towards the capital of Copenhagen was hit by objects from a freight train travelling in the opposite direction.

Local media initially reported a tarpaulin or parts of the roof from the freight train hit the passenger train in windy conditions on Wednesday morning, local time, prompting the passenger train to brake suddenly.

But the BBC reports that Danish media are suggesting the suspected cause is a truck trailer that moved from its resting place on a freight car during high winds.

Danish media reported that a tarpaulin on a freight train hit a passenger train going in the opposite direction, prompting it to brake suddenly. Photo: AP

Danish Railways told Denmark’s TV2 that the victims were passengers travelling from the city of Odense to Copenhagen when the accident took place about 7.30am.

It is believed 131 people were on board the passenger train, including three staff.

“At this stage, we cannot say anything about the cause of the accident or the condition of the passengers. Avoid speculation, guesswork and rumour formation. We inform you as quickly as possible,” Funen Police tweeted.

Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen said the tragic accident “has shaken us all”.

“Ordinary Danes on their way to work or on the way home from Christmas holidays have had their lives shattered,” he said in a tweet.

A preliminary investigation by the Danish Accident Investigation Board showed a trailer had blown off a freight wagon onto the oncoming tracks, a spokesman said.

Police said it was too early to say what caused the accident, but the train was damaged by goods on the tracks.

“There was a very, very loud bang and then the train stopped,” a passenger told broadcaster TV2.

 

Part of infrastructure that links Denmark and Sweden to Germany, the 18-kilometre-long bridge across the Great Belt carries 21,000 train passengers and more than 27,000 vehicles each day.

 

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