German high speed train catches fire in transit

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FRANKFURT, Germany — Around 500 passengers and train crew had a lucky escape Friday morning when the 188-mph high speed train they were travelling on caught fire.

The train was travelling on the high speed line between Cologne and Frankfurt, ultimately bound for Munich when the fire started in a car that had already been restricted from passenger use due to “technical problems,” officials say.

Passengers were in adjacent cars in the 16 coach train formed of two German Railways ICE3 Class 403 trains which date from the early to mid-2000s. The train stopped in open country and not one of 30 tunnels on the 112-mile-long high speed line.

The train stopped near the small village of Giershofen, Germany, and near to the main A3 Autobahn — as the highway and rail line share the same corridor. An evacuation was organized with passengers and crew all safely evacuated thanks to retractable emergency steps fitted to trains which use this line. The A3 highway was closed during the evacuation and passengers were later taken by bus to a station further south where an alternative train was provided. Three passengers reported minor injuries.

German Rail has said the high speed line will remain closed until Saturday at earliest while the damaged train is removed and repairs made to the track.

More information is available online.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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