Derailed train saved from devastating crash by giant sculpture of whale's tail
SPIJKENISSE, Netherlands - Art, inadvertently came to the rescue of the helpless operator on board a derailed train as it sped towards a deadly 30 foot drop, CNN reports.
Fortunately, a giant 32-foot sculpture of a sea creature with a whale's tail stood between the runaway train and the drop; officials say the whale's tail stopped the train before it would have fallen.
The incident unfolded in the Netherlands' city of Spijkenisse, around 12:30 a.m., Monday, according to local news outlets, and onlookers couldn't help but pause to stare at the odd sight of a subway train stuck, midair, on top of a giant art sculpture.
The seemingly unstoppable train apparently burst through the buffers at the station, which is at the southernmost end of the Rotterdam metro system, and would have crashed more than 30 feet to the ground had it not landed on one of two whale tails installed by architect Maarten Struijs almost 20 years ago, CNN reports.
The train's operator, the only person on board, was evaluated at a local hospital and determined to be uninjured, thanks to the art sculpture.
"To our relief, the metro operator got out of the vehicle unharmed. He is doing well under the circumstances. There were no passengers present," the company said.
Officials also say the train operator does not appear to be at fault in the incident.
Local authorities are investigating how safety systems designed to stop the train failed.
They're also deciding how to remove the train, a process that will require heavy equipment such as cranes anchored into the ground.
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