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. Kathy M.

    Sadly, far more people die every day from car accidents. Why is there such a focus in the media about plane, bus, and train accidents? Seems to me that riding the train is far safer than getting in your car.

    March 24, 2010 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
  2. Floridian

    RIP prayers go out to the families.

    March 24, 2010 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
  3. Evan S.

    @Kathy M. – you're absolutely right – statistically, trains buses and planes are VASTLY safer. This is why the media focuses on them, though: Throughout the world, dozens of car accidents (of varying severity) occur per minute, but only a dozen fatal plane crashes, train wrecks and bus accidents occur per year, so its "news". Furthermore, its about scale – only a few people die in any single car accident, but a plane, train or bus wreck usually kills dozens or sometimes hundreds. Also, trains, planes and buses are strictly regulated and operated solely by trained professionals – any idiot can get a driver's license.

    March 24, 2010 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
  4. Sanoran Triamesh

    ... 30,000 people die in car accidents in the USA alone! And when there is bus or train accident it is headline news! Even if no one died. Reason? Money!!!!

    CNN and other media get huge sums of money from car ads. Particularly union made SUV ads. This money is like a bribe. This is why CNN report on Prius incidents or train/bus incidents. The idea is to scare you into buying a union-made SUV and spend most of your time stuck in a traffic jam, pollute the planet and spend lots of money on gas (which is going to increase from this summer).

    Follow the money-trail, you will find the answer 🙂

    March 24, 2010 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  5. doofus

    that's why there's more focus. typically a train is much safer (in general). they couldn't possibly report all of the auto accident related deaths and "ZOMG ZE TRAINZ!" is a much catchier headline. I know when I saw it I was like "how the hell does a train hit a BUILDING?"

    March 24, 2010 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
  6. Bugalina

    If you knew what the Federal Railroad Administration knows about train safety, you'd never go anywhere near a train.

    March 24, 2010 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
  7. Jason

    Kathy M.,

    I think that is why you see more reports about plane/train accidents. Since they are usually the safer mode of transportation, it is bigger news when something goes wrong. Like you said, there are far more car accidents on a daily basis than plane crashes and train derailments.

    March 24, 2010 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  8. Cliff

    Yes, Kathy M., far more die from what we consider "normal" accidents every day. However, our basic human psychology rationalizes train, aircraft and such as worse since the "victom" is not "in control" of the situation. Even though we are far more likely to die in a wreck on the way to an airport, we worry more about the very unlikely event of the plane, in which we are a passenger, falling out of the sky.

    March 24, 2010 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Sharon

    Kathy M...think about statement...if all those people were in one or two cars, then it would be a big media story. If just one passenger in a plane dies, it does not make the big headlines unless it lands on someone or a neighborhood. Just glad there are not many of these big media stories, but certainly they are not to be "no big news".

    March 24, 2010 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Lora

    It is simple...they're typically more spectacular and violent. And because they happen less often they are more "newsworthy".

    March 24, 2010 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
  11. André

    This is not just about the three dead and the fact that there was an accident, but its about a train which travelled 8 kilometres out of control and without any alarms being set of to warm people who could be in danger. The reports says that the train travelled so fast that the last wagons wasn't even touching the railroad because of it's enormous speed. Norway is a highly devolped country when it comes to technology compared to countries where accidents like this normally happend and it's frightning that someting like this can occur here.

    March 24, 2010 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Jim

    Kathy M., I think the reason this story made headlines is that a train derailed and rolled downhill and hit a building.

    Normally, trains stay on their tracks. When they do derail, they typically stay near the tracks.

    In this case, that sucker went all over the place.

    March 24, 2010 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Richard S.

    The answer is expectations.

    Everyone expects that people will die in car accidents. Trains are relatively safe and people expect that nothing will happen. Swiss Intercity trains even have play areas for children in the trains when children can play while the train zips across the lanscape at 200 KMH, whereas in a car a secured child-seat is obligatory.

    Dying in a car is an everyday occurence. Dying in a train, at least in Europe, is a bolt out of the blue.

    March 24, 2010 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Andrew

    You make a great point, but also answer your own question! Since plane, train and bus accidents are not commonplace, they capture people's attention. They are 'news' because they (thankfully) don't happen everyday.

    March 24, 2010 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
  15. genejoynes

    I think mass transportation accidents are reported more often than auto accidents because of mass casualties or the potential for mass casualties.

    March 24, 2010 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
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