Commuter Trains Collide Head-On in Austria, 41 People Injured in Crash

The Austrian Federal Railways are pointing to a human error as the cause of the incident

A train crash that happened yesterday, Monday, January 21, in Vienna, Austria, has left 41 people injured, reports say.

Two commuter trains collided head-on, in the Penzing district, at around 8:45 a.m. (0745 GMT). Reps for the Austrian Federal Railways (OeBB) mentioned that a human error caused the incident.

Xinhua Net explains that a railway switch gave out due to cold temperatures. The Penzing train director failed to switch it to manual control, the OeBB points out.

The cause of the accident was “a human error from the train director in charge,” their rep says in a statement.

In addition to that, one of the two trains was not supposed to be allowed to leave the station, but received the go ahead signal.

“One of the trains received a signal to proceed that it shouldn't have,” adds spokesman Sarah Nettel.

A train driver and one of the wounded passengers sustained possibly life-threatening injuries. Three others were seriously injured, the Daily Mail writes.

Emergency services responded by bringing in 25 firefighter engines, helicopters and a train to transport the victims of the accident. Volunteers helped the rescue effort.

Cranes were used for extraction with some of the passengers. One of them was freed with the help of firemen crews, who cut through the wreckage. All the victims of the accident had been evacuated by 10:30 a.m.

Emergency services spokesman Ronald Packert tells reporters that a station is located near the crash site, which permitted first responders to quickly arrive at the scene.

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

A commission has been formed to look into what brought on the crash. They are set to “try to clarify the cause of the collision, but for now the focus is on the care of the passengers,” a rep reiterates.

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