Metro that crash-landed on whale statue was going too fast; Caused €1m in damage
The metro that drove through a stop block and landed on a whale tale statue at the De Akkers metro station in Spijkenisse on November 2, 2020, was traveling too fast, a recent investigation from the Rotterdam public transport network, RET stated. The empty metro shot through the bumper and miraculously hung from a whale tail artwork. The accident caused one million euros in damage. The driver remained unharmed.
The track was slippery that night. On top of that, the ramp subway did not have rail brakes which would have better suited the conditions at the time. The security system was also inadequate the investigation showed. The track on which the accident occurred lacked an additional emergency buffer to stop the metro.
The bumper with which the subway collided was unable to withstand a speed greater than 15 km/h. The metro crashed through the stop block at 45 km/h. A speed limit of 35 km/h is allowed on the sidetrack.
The driver did not respond for the first five seconds. “Why that is unknown”, researchers stated. The investigators said that had he reacted five seconds earlier, the outcome would still have been the same.
The driver was suspended for the time being as is customary when such an incident happens. “The accident was serious for him”, general manager of the RET, Maurice Unck said. Unick emphasized the driver has not been accused of any malpractice. He cooperated fully with the investigation. Unck stated the training for drivers will be tightened.
To prevent such an accident from repeating itself, the RET temporarily reduced the speed limit on the parking lanes from 35 km/h to 20 km/h. The track at De Akkers is still out of service.