The cause of a collision on Cologne's underground railway involving prototype train remains unclear although brake failure is being suggested.
Sixty-seven people were injured in the accident which occurred on Monday August 23 1999 at about 17:40 during the height of the evening rush hour. A prototype train, a 'City-Sprinter' failed to stop at a red signal. The 'Sprinter', travelling at about 50 km/h collided with the rear of another train standing at the Christophstrasse MediaPark station on the system's Line 15.
Sixty-seven people were hurt, five of whom sustained serious injuries. These include the driver of the protoype and a technician from the train's manufacturer, Siemmens.
Officials are uncertain of the cause of the accident. Police in Cologne reported that the driver of the 'Sprinters' noticed that he could not operate the brakes and would be unable to stop the train. The driver instructed the passengers to get on the floor and hold on. The failure of the brake system could be the cause of the collision.
A spokesperson for the Cologne Police said that the Public Prosecutors Office have obtained the crashed train's travel recorder.
Electrical power to the system had to be cut off as salvage work continued through the night to remove the wrecked trains. All lines were reported to be operating again by the early morning rush hour.
The Siemmens-built 'City-Sprinter' had been undegoing tests on a number of Cologne's lines for about 6 weeks.
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- Web sources
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