UK & World News

  • 21 January 2013, 14:39

Commuter Trains Collide In Austria

Two commuter trains have collided head-on during the rush-hour in the Austrian capital Vienna.

Dozens of people were injured, five of them seriously.

"Two of the seriously injured are in a life-threatening condition, one of whom is one of the train drivers," said emergency services spokesman Ronald Packert. "In total 41 people were hurt."

"One good thing was that the crash happened right next to an emergency services station, meaning that our people were there in seconds."

One of those seriously injured had to be cut out of the twisted wreckage.

Austrian Railways spokeswoman Sarah Nettel said the crash happened at 8:45am local time in the Penzing district of western Vienna.

A large rescue operation was put in place involving around 25 fire engines as well as air ambulances.

It took almost two hours to evacuate both trains, which had been travelling along the same track when the collision occurred.

Many of the injured had to be removed from the wreckage with special cranes.

Austrian Railways said the cause of the crash appeared to have been a technical fault that caused both trains to be travelling towards each other along the same track.

"There was a technical problem," Ms Nettel said. "One of the trains received a signal to proceed that it shouldn't have."

Last September a train derailed in the same area, without causing any injuries.

An inquiry blamed human error for the incident after a rail worker switched a point the wrong way.

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