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Runaway Train Carriages at Helsinki Railway Station

Four runaway two-level Intercity train carriages that separated from a train crashed into platform 13 of the Helsinki Railway station early Monday. A train conductor who had been in the carriage at the time of the incident sustained light injuries to his arm.

Image: YLE / Antti Haanpää

The accident was apparently caused by faulty brakes on the vehicle. Train workers were aware of the malfunction and warned persons standing on platform 13 to be on the alert for a possible collision before directing the rail cars to platform 13.

Platform 13 was selected for the emergency stop as it was felt that a concrete barrier would slow down the careening carriage. However the 70-ton vehicle travelled a further 10 metres through the buffer before crashing into the wall of an office building at the end of the platform. No bystanders were injured in the incident.

The impact into the building's wall damaged the sprinkler system and put the office wing out of commission. Emergency officials are currently investigating the damage caused to the building.

Pentti Grönroos of Helsinki Emergency Services explained that upon impact the cabs of the double-decker train climbed up the hotel wall to the base of the third floor.

Crash Disrupts Traffic

The accident disrupted rail traffic at the Helsinki Railway terminal between 8.30 and 9.30 Monday morning. Officials were however able to restore rail service and power to the terminal, except for tracks 11 and 13. Officials estimate that repairs to tracks 11 and 13 will be completed by Monday evening.

Several trains were cancelled during the day and there have been delays of 15 minutes to an hour in departures. The number of scheduled local commuter trains has also been reduced.

Both long-distance and commuter rail traffic may continue to experience disruptions through Tuesday morning.

The train conductor and a few other workers were in the train at the time of the accident. The Kuopio-bound train was reversing in the Helsinki station, when four cars became detached and crashed into the hotel wall.

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