Traffic : After the freight train accident, the clean-up work begins

The complicated rescue work after the serious freight train accident on the railway line between Hanover and Berlin is progressing: On Saturday, the fire brigade released the accident site near Leiferde in the Lower Saxony district of Gifhorn.

Traffic : After the freight train accident, the clean-up work begins

The complicated rescue work after the serious freight train accident on the railway line between Hanover and Berlin is progressing: On Saturday, the fire brigade released the accident site near Leiferde in the Lower Saxony district of Gifhorn.

For days, special forces had pumped explosive propane gas out of the wrecked tank wagons. A railway spokeswoman said: "After the fire brigade has left and released the scene of the accident, we are now starting to bring heavy equipment and cranes to the scene of the accident." The construction site for the clearance and salvage work and for the repairs will be set up.

Restrictions on travelers until mid-December

For the time being, travelers have to continue to be prepared for train cancellations and delays. Deutsche Bahn recently assumed that there could be longer travel times, restrictions and diversions on the east-west route until mid-December. This affects, for example, the ICE trains between Berlin and North Rhine-Westphalia. According to Bahn, replacement buses run every hour in regional traffic between Wolfsburg and Hanover.

On November 17, early in the morning, a freight train stopped at a signal near Leiferde, and a following freight train drove up. The approaching train consisted of 25 tank cars filled with explosive propane gas. Four wagons overturned in the collision. After the accident, the dangerous gas was pumped out by special forces from the fire brigade and some of it was also burned off.

The reason for the accident was human error

The driver of the oncoming train was taken to the hospital with minor injuries. According to the federal police, the driver of the other train was unharmed apart from a slight shock.

According to previous investigations, the serious accident was caused by human error. The route near Leiferde was erroneously released by an employee of Deutsche Bahn, although a freight train was already stopping there, the federal police in Hanover announced a few days after the collision.

According to Deutsche Bahn, after the fire brigade has left, overhead lines must now be dismantled and the construction site prepared. According to a railway spokeswoman, the "Phoenix" and "Bulldog" emergency cranes are then used to, among other things, hoist and transport away the crashed tank wagons and the locomotive in tow trucks. "We can start with the repair work when the clean-up and salvage work is completed," said the spokeswoman. The required material is already on site or in production.

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