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Accident investigators recommend safety measures, closures after deadly train-military lorry crash

The Safety Investigation Authority said it was "almost impossible" for the driver of the vehicle to see the approaching train.

Skogbyn onnettomuustasoristeys Raaseporissa 31.5.2018.
The level crossing in Skogby has been closed since the accident. Image: Paula Tiainen / Yle

A report on the level crossing accident that killed four in Raseborg in October has been published, with the Safety Investigation Authority (SIA) releasing four recommendations on how such accidents could be avoided in the future.

A collision between an off-road military lorry and a passenger train took place in a level crossing in Skogby where a railway line crosses a road. Three conscripts on the personnel carrier and one passenger on the train died while several others were injured.

According to the investigators, the level crossing in Skogby, which has remained closed since the accident, is particularly dangerous due to the lack of warning lights and the angle of the road. As a result, it was “almost impossible” for the driver of the carrier to see the train approaching diagonally from behind, the report said.

"The safety of Finnish level crossings is weak compared with the other Nordic countries," said Veli-Pekka Nurmi from SIA.

Safety recommendations

The report recommends that the Finnish Transport Agency and the Finnish Transport Safety Agency allocate resources to shutting down or improving safety at the most dangerous crossings.

Moreover, the Finnish Defence Forces should develop the way it assesses the risks of military exercises, the investigators said, as the level crossing at Skogby had not been recognised or named as a risk factor. The Defence Forces should also make seat belts in its vehicles easier to use while wearing combat gear and check that the passengers use them.

Finally, the report recommends that the Interior Ministry establish a command centre in unusual or lengthy operations such as this where various authorities are involved.

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