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Tourist train tragedy


Passenger dies after rail accident


An elderly passenger who was travelling on the tourist train that was partially derailed by a landslide in the Swiss mountains on August 13 has died of his injuries, according to police.

“The 85-year-old man from canton Lucerne was one of the five severely injured in the train accident between Tiefencastel and Thusis. On Friday morning, he died in hospital as a result of the accident,” a canton Graubünden police statement said.

The Rhaetian Railway said that it was deeply saddened by the news and expressed its condolences to the family.

Three carriages of a Rhaetian Railway company train derailed on the afternoon of August 13 after hitting a landslide near Tiefencastel, in the Upper Engadine area of canton Graubünden. The train had just emerged from a tunnel.

The area had been hit by heavy rainfall in the weeks leading up to the incident and a particularly severe downpour on the morning of the accident.

Services along the stretch of line are now running normally.

The train was carrying 140 passengers in total of which 11 passengers were injured, including eight Swiss, two Japanese and one Australian national. Four severely injured people remain in hospital.

The Rhaetian Railway has not experienced a fatal accident in many decades. The last such incident on its network occurred in 1952, according to the Tages-Anzeiger newspaper.

Canton Graubünden and the Swiss Accident Investigation Board (SAIB) are carrying out separate investigations into the incident.

Philippe Thürler, the lead SAIB investigator, said on Friday that there was no new information as to the exact cause of the accident. A definitive geological assessment of the accident site has not yet been submitted. A report with the SAIB’s findings is expected in around six months.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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