COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Six passengers were killed when a Danish train sustained damage while crossing a bridge that was closed to cars because of high wind Wednesday, and authorities investigated if falling cargo from a freight train caused Denmark’s deadliest railway accident in 30 years.
Authorities said the two trains were traveling in opposite directions on the bridge linking Denmark’s islands. Aerial TV footage showed a front side of the passenger train ripped open. Photos showed crates of beer on the freight train and a tarpaulin on top torn in pieces.
Jesper Nielsen told Denmark’s TV2 he was riding on the passenger train and it “was out on the bridge when there was a huge ‘bang’ ... very quickly thereafter, the train braked.”
The rail operator, Danish Railways, told Denmark’s TV2 the victims were passengers on a train going from the city of Odense, on the central Danish island of Funen, to the capital of Copenhagen when the accident took place about 8 a.m.
Police declined to comment directly on a report from Denmark’s TV2 channel that a large freight container had likely fallen off the cargo train.
“It is much too early to speculate as to what might have caused it,” chief police investigator Joergen Andersen told reporters. “It has been a pretty serious accident.”
The accident, in which 16 people were injured, took place on a road-and-rail bridge, part of the Storebaelt system of bridges and a tunnel that link the Danish islands of Zealand and Funen.