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Five critically injured people and 36 other injured after train crash

Five people were seriously injured people and 36 others hurt following a train crash in the Penzing area of Vienna this morning (Monday).

According to the the railway company (ÖBB) a "human error" at a switch point was the cause of the accident.

Just before 8.15 in the morning, ambulances were spotted heading to the scene and helicopters were also sent as the scale of the problem was confirmed.

Passengers had to be rescued via windows by firemen using ladders to get inside and free them from wreckage. The last passengers were able to get out of the carriage at 10.30 almost two hours after the crash.

The driver of the train which was on the Penzing-Hütteldorf line and one other passenger were taken to hospital by helicopter and suffered serious life-threatening injuries.

Three others were critically injured and a further 36 passengers suffered minor injuries. Passengers in shock were treated at the scene of the accident before they could be brought to hospital.

Only last week there were reports that the route between Penzing and Westbahnhof, which includes the S45 route where the accident happened, was overburdened with too much traffic. It is the final route into the city for much of the traffic from western Europe, and commuter groups complained about having to disembark at Hutteldorf on the city outskirts.

Many trains, including the city line or Schnellbahn (S-bahn), were interrupted and hundreds of people were stuck on their way to work. The S45 line between Hutteldorf and Gersthof was closed, as was the connection between Westbahnhof and Hutteldorf.

Services could only resume at 11.00 this morning, with the exception of the S45 (no service between Hutterldorf and Penzing) and S50 S-Bahn lines where there is no service between Westbahnhof and Hutteldorf. Regional trains are stopping at Penzing station as a replacement for the S45 S-Bahn.

There was confusion when the crisis-management team of the railway company (ÖBB) said that there would be train delays but didn't advise changing to the U4 line between Heiligenstadt and Hutteldorf.

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