The half barrier was closed, the signal was red. Nevertheless, three young people drove past the barrier in their car onto the level crossing. The regional train was already very close – and caught the car, dragging it along for several meters. The 22-year-old driver of the car died in the accident early Sunday morning (April 23), as did two young women aged 20 and 22. The completely destroyed car wreck was left behind on the tracks near Neustadt am Rübenberge near Hanover, with the electric locomotive looming behind it.
The 22-year-old from Hanover, the 22-year-old from Hildesheim and the 21-year-old from Neustadt were already dead when the rescuers arrived, a police spokeswoman said. The regional train caught the car “at full speed” on the Hanover-Nienburg route, she said. There were 38 passengers and six railway employees on the train, one of the passengers was slightly injured when the train slowed down.
The train driver, on the other hand, was not injured. The man had to be looked after by an emergency chaplain, as the police spokeswoman said. The train was cleared and the railway line was closed for several hours. The police and fire brigade were at the scene of the accident in large numbers in the early morning.
Car collided with a train near Hanover: the car drove past the barrier
The exact cause of the fatal accident was initially unclear. According to the police spokeswoman, it is certain that the young people’s car drove past the half-barrier on the left onto the level crossing and was hit by the train there. Half barriers do not span the full width of the road. The investigations were ongoing, the traffic accident service was evaluating the tracks, she said. There are no results yet, it will take time. Discussions with the families should be held.
Railway line reopened
The hour-long route closure between Hanover and Nienburg and on to Bremen also affected rail traffic. Long-distance ICE trains between Oldenburg and Hanover have been canceled in the meantime, and the stops at Oldenburg, Delmenhorst and Bremen Hauptbahnhof have been cancelled. The IC trains between Hanover and Emden were diverted and, according to Bahn, were therefore delayed by half an hour. In the morning, the railway opened the route, train traffic started rolling again, and the first regional trains ran.
The replacement bus service was gradually discontinued. However, the railway warned on its website that there could be further delays and train cancellations.
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