At least six dead after train and bus collide at Slovakia level-crossing

Home*Cover Story*International

At least six dead after train and bus collide at Slovakia level-crossing

At least six people have been killed after an international express train collided with a bus on a level crossing in southern Slovakia, emergency workers say.

The accident happened near the town of Nove Zamky, about 80km east of the capital Bratislava, according to an emergency services Facebook post.

News agencies are reporting that at least five others were injured in the incident, which happened at around 17:00 local time (16:00 BST).

The drivers of both the bus and the train were among those hurt and have been taken to hospital, the former in a critical condition.

All of the fatalities are thought to be people who were on the Arriva bus, which officials said was sliced in two by the impact.

Photos showed the locomotive on fire and passengers walking to safety along the tracks.
“I am afraid the number of people killed in this accident might grow,” Petra Klimesova, a spokeswoman of the rescue services, told AFP.

About 200 people were on the train and nine on the bus at the time of the collision, officials said at a press conference.

The train was the regular EuroCity 279 service travelling from Prague to Budapest via Bratislava.

It was operated by a Czech Railways locomotive pulling Slovak Railways carriages.
Czech Railways praised the actions of its driver, who it said had prevented injuries to train passengers by taking prompt action to avoid derailment.

He is understood to have jumped into the control room seconds before impact, and suffered burns in the subsequent fire.

According to an Arriva spokeswoman quoted in the Slovak media, the bus driver had over thirty years experience.

Local media published video footage of passengers carrying luggage alongside a train partially in flames, as thick grey smoke rose to the sky.

According to unconfirmed Slovak media reports, the level crossing had lights and barriers but these had been left out of action by a recent storm.

It is unclear whether they were working properly at the time of the collision.
Slovak Railways has not commented on the claims.