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Incorrectly secured trailer caused Danish train accident


Copenhagen, Denmark — Danish authorities say a deadly accident in which a high-speed passenger train struck a semi-trailer that fell off a freight train coming in the opposite direction, happened because the unit wasn’t properly secured.

Denmark’s Accident Investigation Board, known by its acronym AIB, said in its final report, published Wednesday, that winds were able to knock the semi-trailer off the freight train’s flatcar as it crossed the Storebaelt system of bridges and a tunnel that link the central Danish islands of Zealand and Funen.

Eight people were killed and 16 injured in the Jan. 2 accident on a bridge during strong winds. The victims were all on the passenger train. It was Denmark’s deadliest train accident in 30 years.

The freight train was transporting semi-trailers filled with empty beer and soft drink crates when it smashed into the high-speed passenger train and ripped open its left side.

In March, the AIB said in a preliminary report that the accident “very likely” happened because the semi-trailer wasn’t properly secured and that strong winds played a decisive role in knocking it off.

No one has been charged over the accident, but a criminal investigation could be opened now that the investigation board has reached its conclusion.