Just before midnight on Sunday, November 1, a metro train breached the barrier of the tracks before grinding to a halt at the De Akkers metro station in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Luckily, there are two magnificent whale tail sculptures at the end of the tracks. After breaching the barrier, the first carriage of the train ended up on one of the tails preventing the locomotive from plunging 10 meters (32 feet) into the water below. There have been no injuries reported. Authorities are trying to figure out how to remove the train while keeping the public away from the scene to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The passenger-less late-night train overshot the barriers on the track which is constructed over a body of water. Instead of falling off the tracks, the train was saved by a sculpture that had been at the end of the tracks since 2002. The 18-year-old sculpture made of polyester not only survived the impact, but was also able to bear the weight of the first carriage.
After the accident, the driver of the train was able to walk off of the locomotive by himself. The unnamed man was taken to a hospital for a medical check. Uninjured, he walked away from the crash that could have been fatal if not for the whale tail.
According to Sky News, some residents near the station were awakened by the sound of the crash. A resident shared that the sound lasted only a few seconds but it was very loud. Residents of Spijkenisse first flocked to the scene to witness the train precariously balanced on the sculpture. Once news of the incident spread, more people started gathering nearby.
Worried about the spread of the novel coronavirus, the authorities requested visitors to leave as social distancing guidelines were being ignored.
Maarten Struijs, the artist who designed the sculpture named "Whale Tails", expressed his astonishment at the fact that it survived the crash, BBC reported. He said that the sculpture made of polyester had suffered wear and tear over the years. Yet, it was sturdy enough to take the weight of the train after the crash.
Authorities are still figuring out a way to safely remove the train.