Hermalle-sous-Huy train collision

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Hermalle-sous-Huy train collision
AM96 unit 461 was at the rear of the passenger train that collided with the freight train.
AM96 unit 461 was at the rear of the passenger train that collided with the freight train.
Hermalle-sous-Huy train collision is located in Belgium
Hermalle-sous-Huy train collision
Location within Belgium
Date 5 June 2016
Time 23:03 (CEST)
Location Hermalle-sous-Huy, Belgium
Coordinates 50°33′40″N 5°20′37″E / 50.56111°N 5.34361°E / 50.56111; 5.34361
Country Belgium
Rail line Liège–Namur railway line
Operator SNCB
Type of incident Rear-end collision
Cause Under investigation
Statistics
Trains 2
Passengers 40
Deaths 3
Injuries 36 (9 serious)
Damage Two carriages and a wagon severely damaged. 15 metres (16 yd) track and 50 metres (55 yd) sleepers damaged

The Hermalle-sous-Huy train collision was a collision between a passenger train and a freight train in Hermalle-sous-Huy (fr), Belgium, on 5 June 2016. At least three people were killed and 36 others were injured, nine of them seriously.

The crash[edit]

The crash occurred at 23:03 CEST (21:03 UTC),[1] when the passenger train crashed into the rear of the goods train while the two trains were on the same line.[2][3] Three people were killed and nine more people were seriously injured. Twenty-seven others were treated for wounds at the scene.[3] The driver of the passenger train was one of the victims.[4] All on board had been rescued from the train by 02:00 on 6 June.[5] Those less seriously injured were taken to Flône Abbey,[1] or a nearby sports centre.[5] The passenger train comprised two SNCB Class AM96 electric multiple units.[1] It was travelling from Mouscron to Liers via Namur and Liège. The freight train had about 30 wagons in its consist.[6]

The front two carriages of unit 548 were severely damaged.[4][7] Unit 461 was at the rear of the train.[5] It had about 40 passengers on board. The passenger train was travelling at about 90 kilometres per hour (56 mph) when it ran into the rear of the freight train,[8] which was either stationary,[6] or travelling at 10 to 15 kilometres per hour (6 to 9 mph).[4] It was reported that an earlier lightning strike had caused disruption on the Liège–Namur railway line.[9] A signal fault had been reported at 21:30, but was said to have been cleared at the time of the accident.[8] Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel tweeted his condolences to the victims and wished the injured a speedy recovery.[10] He and King Philippe visited the site of the accident on 6 June.[4]

Following the accident, it was revealed that the line was not equipped with the TBL 1+ signalling system, which is capable of automatic brake application if a train passes a red signal. This system was introduced following the Buizingen train crash in 2011.[11]

The train event recorders of the passenger train were recovered from the wreckage on 8 June in an apparently undamaged condition.[12] Infrabel stated that repairs to the tracks to allow single-line working for intercity trains would be completed by 8 June, with local trains being replaced by buses. It was intended that all track repairs would be completed by the evening of 9 June,[13] which was achieved. Normal service resumed that day. Damage to the track required the replacement of 15 metres (16 yd) of rail and 50 metres (55 yd) of sleepers.[14]

Investigation[edit]

The Railway Accident and Incident Investigation Unit of the Federal Public Service Mobility and Transport opened an investigation into the accident.[15]

The train event recorder revealed that the driver of the train passed a signal displaying a double yellow (caution) aspect.[a] However, he only started to brake when the freight train came in sight.[14] The investigation resulted in an intermediate report being published in June 2017. It concluded that it was likely that the passenger train overran a red signal.[7]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ A double yellow signal means that the signal ahead is showing a red (danger) aspect. See Belgian railway signalling for further details.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Grave accident de trains à Saint-Georges: 3 morts, 9 blessés et " une scène abominable "" [Serious train accident in Saint-Georges: 3 dead, 9 wounded and "an abominable scene"] (in French). L'Avenir. Retrieved 6 June 2016.
  2. ^ "Collision entre deux trains à Hermalle-sous-Huy: trois morts et une quarantaine de blessés" [Two trains collided in Hermalle-sous-Huy: three dead and forty wounded] (in French). Le Soir. Retrieved 6 June 2016..
  3. ^ a b "At least 3 dead, 40 injured as two trains collide in Belgium – reports". rt.com. Russia Today. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
  4. ^ a b c d Thys, John. "Belgium probes deadly train crash, at least three killed". Yahoo News. Retrieved 6 June 2016.
  5. ^ a b c Hartley-Parkinson, Richard. "Three dead and 40 injured after train crashes into back of freight train". Metro. Associated Newspapers Ltd. Retrieved 6 June 2016.
  6. ^ a b "Treinbestuurder en 2 passagiers omgekomen bij treinongeval in Wallonië" [Train driver and two passengers killed in train crash in Wallonia] (in Dutch). De Redactie. Retrieved 6 June 2015.
  7. ^ a b "Rapport intermédiaire d'Enquête de Sécurité. Collision par rattrapage d'un train de marchandises par un train de voyageurs survenue à Hermalle-sous-Huy le 5 juin 2016" [Interim Safety Investigation Report. Rear-end collision between a freight tran and a passenger train at Hermalle-sous-Huy on 5 June 2016] (PDF) (in French). RAIIU Belgium. Retrieved 29 November 2017.
  8. ^ a b "Three dead and nine injured in Belgium train crash". BBC News Online. Retrieved 6 June 2016.
  9. ^ "Drie doden bij treinongeval Luik" [Three dead in train crash in Liège] (in Dutch). De Telegraaf. Retrieved 6 June 2016.
  10. ^ Charles Michel [@CharlesMichel] (6 June 2016). "(untitled)" (Tweet) (in French) – via Twitter.
  11. ^ "Accident de trains à Saint-Georges-sur-Meuse : le système de signalisation était-il équipé du système de sécurité TBL1 +?" [Train accident in Saint-Georges-sur-Meuse: was the signaling system equipped with security system TBL1 +?] (in French). L'Avenir. Retrieved 8 June 2016.
  12. ^ "Accident de trains: la boîte noire du train de voyageurs retrouvée" [train crash: black box recovered from passenger train] (in French). L'Avenir. Retrieved 8 June 2016.
  13. ^ "Accident de trains à Saint-Georges-sur-Meuse : le trafic relancé ce mercredi ?" [Train accident in Saint-Georges-sur-Meuse: the resumed traffic on Wednesday?] (in French). L'Avenir. Retrieved 8 June 2016.
  14. ^ a b "'Bestuurder merkte dubbel geel licht op'" [Driver commented double yellow light on] (in Dutch). De Standaard. 9 June 2016. Retrieved 11 June 2016.
  15. ^ "Botsingen" [Collisions] (in Dutch). Federal Public Service Mobility and Transport. Retrieved 11 June 2016.