GENEVA (AFP) – Two trains slammed into each other north of the Swiss city of Zurich at the start of rush hour early on Friday, leaving dozens of passengers injured and train carriages upturned, police and media said.
“There was an accident this morning, it’s serious, there are injured,” a police spokeswoman told AFP, without providing any other details.
The collision occurred at the train station at Rafz, a town some 30 kilometres north of Zurich and not far from the German border, between an express intercity train and a local commuter train, media reported.
The locomotive on one of the trains was smashed in, and several of its carriages derailed and tipped on their sides, photographs in local media showed.
Ambulances, fire and rescue services have rushed to the scene and service on the train line between the towns of Bulach and Schaffhouse has been suspended.
A rescue worker, who refused to give his name, told the 20Minutes daily that as many as 49 people had been injured in the crash.
“Ambulances from all regions have been mobilised,” he said.
An 18-year-old passenger on the commuter train told the paper that it had just begun pulling out of the Rafz station on its way to Schaffhouse when the conductor hit the breaks.
“An express train from Zurich came up from behind and hit the side of our train. The intercity train derailed,” said the man, whose name was not given. Both the trains had been “quite damaged”, he said, adding that the conductors on both trains had quickly evacuated the passengers.
The Swiss are Europe’s top rail users, and their network is normally envied abroad for safety and quality.