1000 people evacuated after two trains crash in Norway

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread


1000 people evacuated after train crash in Norway

At least 1,000 people living in two suburbs in the Norwegian capital, Oslo, have been evacuated following a rail crash which set fire to a wagon carrying propane gas.

Residents of Lillestroem and Raelingen were moved from their homes by police after two goods trains collided with each other and burst into flames at Lillestroem station.

Dozens of firefighters, some brought in from Oslo, were battling the blaze.

Earlier this year, 19 people were killed when two passenger trains crashed in the Norwegian town of Aasta, north of Oslo.


-- Carl Jenkins (Somewherepress@aol.com), April 05, 2000



Norway Train Town Evacuated

OSLO, Norway (AP) -- At least 1,000 people were being evacuated from the center of a Norwegian town today due to fears that a burning freight train might explode.

Two freight trains collided and burst into flames during the night at a train station in Lillestroem, 10 miles north of Oslo. No one was injured in the 1 a.m. crash.

However, one of the burning trains carried 104 tons of explosive propane gas, and police ordered a 700 yard area around the station evacuated. Police sounded the local alert sirens and broadcast orders to flee the downtown area.

''The situation is dangerous inside that area,'' police Chief Joergen Hoeydal said. He estimated that 1,000 to 2,000 people were to be evacuated.

The accident also stopped train traffic along the line, including express trains serving the national airport north of the capital. AP-NY-04-05-00 0744EDT< 

-- Rachel Gibson (rgibson@hotmail.com), April 05, 2000.


Wednesday, 5 April, 2000, 11:45 GMT 12:45 UK Train crash fireball fear

The fire might not be put out for hours People from two towns near Oslo have been evacuated, amid fears of an explosion after a train with 104 tonnes of liquid propane on board crashed into another train and caught fire.

More than 2,000 people, including schoolchildren and hospital patients, were moved away after the collision at Lillestroem station, about 20km (12 miles) north of the capital.

Police cordoned off the area around the station, and the neighbouring town of Raelingen.

Firefighters fear a massive fireball could destroy nearby buildings and send a shower of debris over the area.

No-one was hurt in the crash, which happened when one train ran into the back of another on one of Norway's busiest lines.

One tank ruptured

"We believe that all the people are out of the area," said Deputy Police Chief, Asbjoern Gran. "An explosion would be extremely violent."

One propane tank ruptured in the accident and is on fire.

The main danger is that a sealed tank on the next wagon could explode as well.

Firefighters are trying to cool the second tank.

"It could take many hours for the fire to burn out," Asbjoern Gran said.

The crash was Norway's second major accident this year.

Nineteen people died in January when two passenger trains collided head-on in south Norway, apparently after a driver went through a red light.

Streets of Lillestroem are virtually deserted and blanketed in snow.

"It's kind of scary because we still don't know what's going on," said 17-year-old Anne Torbjoernsen.

Others complained that police waited until after dawn before deciding to evacuate residents.

-- Rachel Gibson (rgibson@hotmail.com), April 05, 2000.

Thursday, 6.4.2000

5. April 2000

Gas-tankers still burning - 3000 people evacuated from downtown Lillestroem

Parts of central Lillestroem, near Oslo, were evacuated Wednesday morning, after rail tankers with liquid propane gas caught fire, following a train crash around midnight.

No one was hurt when a goods train rammed another at Lillestroem station.

Police fear that the two rail tankers with more than 100 tons of propane will burn out of control. Their greatest concern is that the one tanker that has not caught fire will explode.

The fire is at the moment moderate, and the tankers are being cooled down. Water cannons are pouring 5000 liter water per minute over the tankers. Experts from the Directorate for Fire and Explosives Protection are monitoring the temperature.

The hope is that the gas will burn out under control, but the authorities deemed the evacuation of an area with 800 meter radius necessary.

More than 3000 people have now been evacuated. A hospital, the local jail and a public school are among the buildings within, or near the area.

It is feared that the fire may burn for many hours, maybe days. Experts indicate 40 hours.

It is still uncertain how the accident could happen. The train was equipped with automatic train stop, and this stretch of railroad is considered one of the safest in the country.

However, the engineer of one of the trains has reportedly said that the brakes on the train that carried the propane had failed.

The railroads have appointed a commission to look into the cause of the accident.

All rail traffic through Lillestroem station, including the Oslo Airport Express, has been stopped. The main highways through the city have also been closed.

Travellers are being transported around Lillestroem by bus and taxi. Some planes may be delayed by late-coming passengers.

The fire has caused great difficulty also for the railways, and many trains in South Eastern Norway are delayed or cancelled.


-- Martin Thompson (mthom1927@aol.com), April 05, 2000.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ