The driver of the train suffered serious, life-threatening injuries when a freight train collided with a waiting passenger train at the Sáp railway station in the Hajdú-Bihar county at dawn on Wednesday. 10 million worth of damage was caused to the railway track, MÁV Zrt. said at the on-site press conference.
Zoltán Pafféri, the president and CEO of MÁV Zrt., said: the loaded freight train passed a red signal, and ran into the passenger train at the Sápi station.
Seven people were injured, including four passengers, a ticket inspector and the train driver who caused the accident. They were taken to the hospital in Berettyóújfalu. The innocent train driver, an employee of MÁV-Start, suffered serious, life-threatening injuries, he added.
Zoltán Pafféri said that the disaster management staff worked for 3 and a half hours to free the train driver from the wreckage, and then the ambulance took the injured man to the hospital in Debrecen. When asked, he also said that the affected railway line was handed over this year, so the electronic safety equipment is working. MÁV has insurance for passengers and employees and provides them with emergency assistance while the investigation lasts.
Lieutenant Attila, the head of MÁV Zrt.’s regional railway directorate, said at the press conference that approximately 30 specialists are working on the restoration. First, the damaged assembly of the passenger train was freed, then the freight cars of the freight train were pulled aside so that the locomotives that collided could be separated.
Relatively minor damage of about HUF 10 million was caused to the railway track. The switches were damaged along a length of approximately 200 meters and will be restored later.
Speaking to the current channel M1, Tamás Péter Balogh, the press representative of the Hajdú-Bihar County Police Headquarters, said that the police department in Püspökladany initiated a procedure due to the suspicion of committing the crime of endangering the railway. The circumstances of the accident are being investigated with the involvement of experts, he added.