Tuesday, 15 January 2013


Train crashed into house near Stockholm

Cleaning lady steals train and crashes into house


A cleaning lady managed to commandeer a Stockholm-area tram early Tuesday morning, eventually crashing it into a house in the upscale suburb of Saltsjöbaden.

Officials remain baffled as to why a cleaning lady commandeered a train in the upscale Stockholm suburb of Saltsjöbaden early Tuesday morning and crashed it into a house, where it remains while crews work out how to safely remove the wreckage.
The woman started driving the train from the Neglinge train station, which is two stops from Saltsjöbaden, and usually a three-minute ride,” SL spokesman Jesper Pettersson told The Local.

"The train usually goes at about 10 kilometres an hour in this area, but we estimate that she was going at about 70 kilometres per hour."

When the train reached the final stop on the line at around 3am, it careened off the tracks and into the first-floor kitchen of one of the house's three flats, causing severe damage.

No passengers were on the train at the time, but a woman was trapped in the wreckage for two hours before rescue crews managed to get her out.

“We still don’t know why she was in the driver’s seat or whether the incident was an accident. There’s a police investigation underway and we’re waiting for them for clarification.”

The cleaner, who is in her twenties, was flown by helicopter to the Karolinska University Hospital for treatment of what emergency workers described as "serious" injuries. 

She has since been ordered detained on suspicion of public devastation (allmänfarlig ödeläggelse).

According to the Expressen newspaper, there were five residents from three different families sleeping in the building at the time of the accident.

"It's incredibly lucky that no one in the house was injured," police spokesman Ulf Lindgren told the TT news agency.

"The head of the emergency services crew has ordered the house to be evacuated for safety reasons."

As of 1.30pm, the derailed train was still inside the house, according to Pettersson, while emergency services determine how to remove it.

“It’s important to find out if the structure of the house can cope with the removal of the train, no one wants to risk the building’s integrity,” he told The Local.

A spokesman for subcontractor Arriva, which is responsible for operating the line, characterized the incident as a theft.

"It was a cleaner who for unknown reasons stole the train," Arriva spokesman Tomas Hedenius told Aftonbladet.

"She was a cleaner. Somehow she managed to get in and steal one of the trains. We're investigating how it could have happened."

In the wake of the incident, local politicians have called upon SL to beef up security procedures.

"It shouldn't be possible for unauthorized people to drive our trains," Christer G Wennerholm, a Moderate member of the Stockholm County Council's traffic committee, said in a statement.

Replacement buses are taking commuters between the Neglinge and Saltsjöbaden stops on the Saltsjöbanan train line, according to SL, although the rest of the line is functioning normally. 

Jesper Pettersson at SL promised the incident will result in a "major review" of the company's current security system.


Several dead in massive car crash in southern Sweden

100-car pile-up claims at least three lives

Emergency services


Tranarpsbron bridge

Three people died and at least 14 were injured on the E4 motorway nearHelsingborg, southwestern Sweden, after an estimated 100 vehicles crashed into one another due to dense fog and slippery road conditions

"It's the worst accident I've seen during my 30 years in this line of work," emergency worker Jonas Hellsten told the local Helsingbord Dagbladet newspaper.

The accident has claimed at least three lives, according to police, with at least 14 people suffering "moderate" injuries. Those injured were rushed to hospitals in Helsingborg, Ängelholm and Kristianstad

The crash took place shortly before midday on the Tranarpsbron bridge just northeast of Helsingborg. 

Slippery road conditions and poor visibility due to fog are to blame, police told the TT news agency. 

"The scene is pretty chaotic," head fire fighter Christer Haraldsson told the TT news agency. 

"Several people are stuck in their cars. We have a large number of ambulances on their way and we are sending a bus to evacuate the area."

Emergency crews estimate the wreck involved approximately 100 vehicles, but exact figures remain hard to come by.

A press photographer on the scene said the scene of the accident "stretches as far as the eye can see" and involves cars on both sides of the motorway.

"I can see how an emergency services fuel truck has crashed into a truck, which is now lying across the lanes," Scanpix photographer Björn Lindgren told TT.

"On the other side, I can see two trucks that have rammed into one another, tearing the load from one."

Haraldsson confirmed that an emergency service fuel truck was involved in the crash.

The E4 has been closed in both directions while rescue crews continue their work.

Elsewhere, around ten vehicles were involved in a crash on the E20 motorway northwest of Eskilstuna in central Sweden.

The wreck stopped southbound traffic on the E20, and one person sustained minor injuries.

Snow continued to fall across much of the country on Tuesday, causing a number of accidents on Swedish roadways, with 33 being reported in Stockholm county alone.

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