Swiss Train Collision Leaves Driver Dead, 26 in Hospital

Photographer: Laurent Gillieron/Keystone via AP Photo

A fireman works at the scene where two passenger trains collided head-on in Granges-pres-Marnand, western Switzerland, Monday, July 29, 2013. Close

A fireman works at the scene where two passenger trains collided head-on in... Read More

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Photographer: Laurent Gillieron/Keystone via AP Photo

A fireman works at the scene where two passenger trains collided head-on in Granges-pres-Marnand, western Switzerland, Monday, July 29, 2013.

Two trains collided head-on in western Switzerland, killing one of the engine drivers and hospitalizing 26, local police said.

It’s too early to determine what caused the accident outside the town of Granges-pres-Marnand, Reto Schaerli, a spokesman for the national rail company SBB, said by phone.

“We will probably not know for several days,” Schaerli said today. The Swiss Accident Investigation Board is examining the matter, he said.

The crash between two trains traveling to and from Lausanne on the same track occurred at 6:46 p.m. yesterday, police in the Canton of Vaud said in a statement. The injured passengers were transported to hospitals in the region, police said. None of them is in a life-threatening condition, Schaerli said.

“The management and employees of the SBB are shocked by the death of their colleague and regret that passengers were also injured in the accident,” the SBB said in an e-mailed statement.

The two trains had a total of 46 passengers, all of whom were Swiss, the police said.

News photos from the crash showed the fronts of both trains completely smashed into each other. An unidentified passenger on the train traveling to Lausanne told 20 Minutes that the train braked three times before a violent crash sent smashing glass flying through the cars.

Latest Accident

The accident is the latest of several fatal train collisions in Europe. A crash in northern Spain after a high-speed train went off the rails on July 24 killed 79 people. On July 12, six people died when a French train smashed into a commuter station outside Paris.

Investigators from the rail service and specialists from the police are also probing the Swiss accident, police said. The prosecution service has ordered an autopsy on the driver.

To contact the reporters on this story: Zoe Schneeweiss in Zurich at zschneeweiss@bloomberg.net; James Kraus in Geneva at jkraus2@bloomberg.net; Giles Broom in Geneva at gbroom@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Angela Cullen at acullen8@bloomberg.net

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