Yugoslav Federal Railways, Zagreb 30 August 1974: A Belgrade - Dortmund express failed to negotiate a curve just before Zagreb station. The accident which was due to excessive speed left 153 passengers dead.
At the approach to Zagreb, the line curves sharply just before the station. This curvature is severe enough to require the imposition of a speed limit of 48Km/h (30 mph). The train which was travelling at high speed, ignored a stop signal and proceeded to enter the curve at 60 mph (96km/h). The
At the subsequent enquiry, the driver and his assistant claimed that the locomotive's brakes had failed. However, tests proved that the brakes were functioning perfectly adequately. Investigators from Germany conducted tests on the rolling-stock and staged an experiment using similar rolling-stock to that on the express. They demonstrated that the accident would not have occurred if the train had obeyed the speed restriction. The crew were therefore held to be responsible and at their trial they admitted that they had fallen asleep. The driver was sentenced to fifteen years imprisonment and his assistant received eight years.
Copyright © David Fry 1998
Created: Tuesday, August 04, 1998
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