A multiple train collision south of Rotterdam has caused chaos on the rail network and roads in the area. Goods traffic from and to Rotterdam harbour will be affected over the next five days.
Two goods trains were involved in a head-on collision below a viaduct on the A15 motorway, killing the driver of one train. Derailed sections landed on a parallel track, where a passenger train was approaching. Its driver spotted the accident just in time to slow down and minimize the impact. On the passenger train a couple of passengers were slightly injured. The viaduct was damaged by goods wagons piling up under it.
The area was quickly evacuated after the pile-up, because it was feared the goods trains transported inflammable liquids. This later turned out not to be the case. The A15 motorway remained closed until the morning rush hour; goods traffic by rail south of Rotterdam remains suspended while the wreckage is cleared, which will take at least five days. This will affect cargo transports at Rotterdam Harbour, goods train operating company DB Schenker has said. Passenger services have been resumed.
The National Safety Investigation Council is making an inventory of the situation in order to establish the cause of the accident. The mayor of the town of Barendrecht, on whose territory the crash happened, said it confirmed that his town is in a danger zone. The area is crisscrossed by regular and highspeed rail lines and motorways, and is home to a significant part of the Netherlands' petrochemical industry.