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Train collides with military vehicle in the south, four dead

An accident between a train and an off-road military lorry in the southern coastal municipality of Raseborg has killed four people. New reports say that eight military conscripts were involved in the crash, three of whom of died and four were injured. The fourth victim was a passenger on the train.

The scene of the accident. Image: Christoffer Westerlund / Yle

A collision between an off-road military lorry and a train in the southern coastal municipality of Raseborg, or Raasepori in Finnish, has taken four lives this Thursday morning. Seven people with lesser injuries were being treated in Raseborg.

Kerava emergency services announced shortly before 8 am that a crash had occurred at a level crossing, where a railway line crosses a road.

Railway traffic monitor Reima Roisko has been in contact with the driver of the train and learned that the accident took place at the Leksavallintie intersection.

"A passenger train from Karis to Hanko collided with a vehicle at the level crossing. There were several people injured," he said.

Police confirm that the vehicle was a military off-road lorry known in Finnish as a Masi. The vehicle and its occupants were from the Nyland Brigade, stationed in Dragsvik. It is the only unit of the Finnish Defence Forces where the instruction language is Swedish.

Defence Minister Jussi Niinistö spoke in a Yle radio interview at around 11 am. He said seatbelt use has been mandatory in the Finnish military since 2010. He confirmed that the conscripts in question were from the Nyland Brigade, and crisis assistance was being offered to the people affected.

Minister Niinistö also wrote on Twitter this morning that flags at Defence Forces locations around the country will be lowered to half-mast today to commemorate the crash victims. Prime Minister Juha Sipilä also tweeted his condolences.

The Railway Traffic Centre says the route has been shut down for the time being, with buses replacing the trains. Train operator VR says that the replacement buses will depart from the relevant railway stations, and will service the Karis-Ekenäs-Hanko route. 

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