Sheep derail high-speed German train leaving 23 hurt

28th April 2008, Comments 0 comments

The state-owned rail company, Deutsche Bahn (DB), said 20 sheep had been killed.

Berlin -- A high-speed German ICE train slammed into a flock of sheep in a tunnel near the city of Fulda, derailing before coming to a halt, police in the state of Hessen said Sunday.

Twenty-three passengers were hurt, three of them seriously, in the incident that took place in the 10-kilometre tunnel at around 9 pm on Saturday evening.

The state-owned rail company, Deutsche Bahn (DB), said 20 sheep had been killed.

Some 170 passengers were aboard the ICE, which travels at speeds of up to 250 kilometers an hour. Four carriages derailed in the incident.

A witness related how the carriage in which she was sitting derailed and came to a halt, tilting half over. Passengers were nevertheless able to alight through the doors.

"There was incredible smoke and dust -- I thought I would suffocate," she said.

A DB spokesman said the damage was considerable and that the line could be closed for days.

While Germany's ICE are seen as extremely safe, the world's worst ever accident involving a high-speed train occurred in June 1998, when an ICE derailed as a result of a broken wheel near the town of Eschede.

The accident claimed 101 lives and left many more injured.

DPA

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