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A conductor escaped injury after his train derailed and busted through stop barriers at the end of an elevated track. Instead of falling to the ground 30 feet below, the metro train was caught by a giant whale tail sculpture near the Dutch port city of Rotterdam in the Netherlands, on Nov. 2, 2020.
The operator was the only person on board and it is unclear why the train did not stop. He was questioned by police officers and was sent home. The accident is under investigation. The station where the incident took place is the last stop on the metro line.
The front carriage rammed through the end of the track and caused a partial derailment. Over 50 overseers were present in the Netherlands where the incident took place, while workers worked on ways to get the train from on top of the whale sculptor. No one was injured and no deaths were reported although damage was caused.
In 2002, the whale sculpture was installed at the De Akkers station in Spijkenisse, a city just outside Rotterdam. The architect, who designed the art piece, Maarten Struijs is surprised that it was durable enough to hold the train and he is pleased that it saved the life of the driver. He stated,
You would not expect plastic that’s been standing for 20 years to be so strong, to be able to hold a metro carriage.
A team of experts is coming up with a plan to safely remove it after strong winds caused them not to be able to move it. The train will remain on the whale’s sculpture overnight. On Tuesday the whale will be removed using slings.
Written by Jessica Letcher
AP News: What a fluke: Dutch whale tail sculpture catches metro train
NPR: Saved By The Whale: Dutch Train Runs Off Elevated Tracks, Is Caught By Statue’s Tail; Reese Oxner
Fox News: Whale tail structure catches runaway metro train in Netherlands
Featured Image Courtesy of Theo Vermeulen’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of Sander Sloots’ Flickr Page – Creative Commons License