March 24th, 2010
10:20 AM ET

At least 3 dead in Norway train derailment

An out-of-control train derailed and headed downhill in Oslo, Norway on Wednesday.

[Updated at 10:24 a.m] Officials say three people were killed and four people were injured when an out-of-control train derailed and went downhill in Oslo, Norway.

The train operator, CargoNet, said in a statement on its Web site that 16 cars derailed in what it called a "serious" accident and that train traffic will remain affected throughout the day.

The National Accident Commission is on site and all train traffic to and from Alnabru has been stopped. Alnabru is the terminal where the train had been before it derailed.

[Posted at 10:20 a.m] At least three people in the Norwegian capital of Oslo died when a train derailed Wednesday, the city Fire Department said.

Several others were injured in the accident, which occurred as the out-of-control train was headed downhill in the western part of the city. One part of the train slammed into a storage building in the city's harbor area and some of its wagons ended up in the water, a department spokeswoman said.

Nine fire engines, 29 firefighters, ambulances and a helicopter responded to the accident. Ida Lofsgaard Kojedahl, the spokeswoman, said there was no immediate word on the cause of the accident.

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soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. Natalie, NV

    I agree with Kathy M that one is supposed to feel safer on a train than in a car - which is why there is media attention whenever there is an accident involving a train or bus or plane. It is because those kinds of accidents are news (car accidents normally aren't). Car accidents happen frequently compared to accidents involving a form of public transportation, such as the freak accident in Norway described above. Trains aren't supposed to derail, which is why when they do, they make the news. As members of the public, we are supposed to feel safe when riding any form of transportation made available to the public. Car accidents involve (for the most part) private citizens (Joe and Jane Doe crashing with the Smiths, for instance). Train derailments involve a company (not just private individuals), and companies are expected to be held to a higher standard. Whenever there is a train derailment, people want to know the name of the company and whether human errors led to the accident. Companies are liable to a large number of people if they are found at fault in an accident whereas a private citizen is only liable to the one party he or she is found guilty of injuring. In other words, in car accidents, we most often deal with a private party injuring another private party (and the case is usually no one else's business so to speak). However, when dealing with accidents involving trains, we are dealing with a company which charges money from the public to ride on their trains and therefore they have extra responsibility to protect the public they are in business to serve. Train derailments deal with a company that is supposed to safely transport people from point A to point B not being able to do that, and therefore, people have the right to know whenever there is an accident involving forms of public transportations. Media involvement has nothing to do with how frequently one type of accident happens compared to another - it has everything to do with who is involved and responsible. If a company is responsible (a company like the one owning the train in the accident above - a company that a large group of people depends on and trusts), there is going to be a lot of media attention because the public has a right to know.

    March 24, 2010 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  2. JZ

    because when a plane, bus or train accident happen, it usually affects more people than in a car accident. i can see what you mean though, and media should more often focus on infrastructure or why there are so many traffic accidents.

    March 24, 2010 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Per

    Kathy: This is not a regular train accident. This is 16 cargo wagons (about 0,3 miles of length) that went loose from it station 5 miles away from the accident place. It went through half of the city without any people controlling it.
    This is a big accident here

    March 24, 2010 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Tom A.

    Trains are a safe way of traveling. When accidents like this seldom occur then they write about it.

    March 24, 2010 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Dana

    I undertand your point 100%, only that this train could've reached the sentral station in Oslo, causing way more damage and taking more lives. It's also one of these accidents that shouldn't have happened. I mean; a train breakin loose!? My heart goes out to the families of the victims.

    March 24, 2010 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
  6. J.Crobuzon

    Um, because there are few accidents with planes and trains, and so it's "news" when they happen? Trains ARE safe, except when . . .

    March 24, 2010 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
  7. John

    Most of you have misunderstood what happened. This wasn't a mass transportation accident. 16 cargo wagons went loose and crashed into cars near Osfjord harbour. Without currently knowing much about what caused the accident, I'm pretty sure that the safety measures surrounding public train transportation is higher than with cargo trains like these. Still, this shouldn't have happened.

    March 24, 2010 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  8. from norway

    The train traveled 8 km (ca. 4 miles??) before stopping.

    March 24, 2010 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Snorre (from Norway too)

    Oh, remember. The train had a speed about 90-110 km/h.
    Take that number times kilograms of weight. If each car weights more than 15-20 tons. It's a great force. Difficult or impossible to stop it within five mintues.

    Luckily its direction was not Oslo Central Station.
    Accident happens. We must live with it... unfortunately.

    March 24, 2010 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
  10. william

    I would think that a 16-wagon, driverless, runaway train through a european capitol is news. Even though most americans think Norway is the capitol of sweden ;-)

    March 24, 2010 at 9:04 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Gail

    hope my friends are OK there..............

    March 24, 2010 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Rune

    Ye, it traveled 8km before it crashed into the fjord. They tried to stop the wagons. Have in mind, there was no lokomotivs or anything attached, only16 cargowagons. (the weight of these wagons was between 200-300 tons). They tried to lead the wagons into an other track, but the speed was to high... The speed was so high that the two, three last wagons didnt even touch the track.
    When the track ended it went through the harbor over the tarrmac into cars, a truck (and the truckdriver was daaaaamn lucky), into a building, and then into the water. Killing 3 people, one is missing and 4 injured.
    This is a very busy place at this time of the day, so its a miracle that not more people got killed or injured.

    March 25, 2010 at 6:54 am | Report abuse |
  13. Anna

    hope my friend & his families are OK there

    March 26, 2010 at 10:59 pm | Report abuse |
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