Authorities Recover Train From Austrian Tunnel After Fire Forces Evacuation

Authorities Recover Train From Austrian Tunnel After Fire Forces Evacuation
Firefighters help passengers near a train tunnel after a a fire broke out in a train forcing rescuers to evacuate the 151 people on board, in Fritzens near Innsbruck, Austria, on June 7, 2023. (Georg Koechler/Zoom.Tirol via AP)

BERLIN—A train was being recovered Thursday from an Austrian tunnel where it got stuck when a fire broke out, forcing rescuers to evacuate the 151 people on board.

The regional government in Tyrol Province said that 33 people were slightly injured in Wednesday evening’s incident and were taken to hospitals for evaluation. Smoke inhalation appeared to be the main concern.

Officials had initially said that up to 370 people were believed to be on the overnight train heading from Innsbruck to Amsterdam and Hamburg, a number they based on seat reservations for the trip. They revised the figure down after the evacuation.

The train was halted immediately after the fire started in the Terfens tunnel east of Innsbruck at around 8:45 p.m. Rescuers from surrounding districts rushed to the scene.

A regional government statement said the cause of the fire appeared to be a faulty overhead electric wire that fell on a trailer attached to the train that was transporting passengers’ cars and set two vehicles ablaze.

The evacuation was completed shortly after 11 p.m. By then, the fire had already been extinguished. Around 700 rescuers, firefighters, and police officers were involved.

Passengers who didn’t need medical attention were taken by bus to Innsbruck, where they were offered accommodation.

After its removal from the tunnel, the train was set to be hauled back to the central station in Innsbruck, the regional government said.

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