German Police Arrest Man Over High-Speed Rail Tampering


German Police Arrest Man Over High-Speed Rail Tampering

A man in Germany has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after allegedly loosening bolts on a high-speed railway track.

The stretch of track affected was just before a bridge outside Frankfurt.

A train driver noticed “something unusual” while crossing the bridge early on Friday. Several trains had already passed over the section before the issue was discovered.

Rail operator Deutsche Bahn described the incident as “sabotage”.

The 51-year-old man was arrested on Saturday.

In a statement, prosecutors said the man is “strongly suspected of having removed bolts on 80 metres (260 feet) of the rail on a bridge between Cologne and Frankfurt”.

His motive remains unclear however police said on Friday they could not rule out “a possible attack attempt“.

According to German news site Der Spiegel, the rails were five centimetres further apart than usual. This could have caused trains to derail and even send them plunging off the bridge.

Police said it was lucky no harm had come to any trains or passengers.

Passengers who managed to bring a speeding tram to a halt in Germany after the driver suffered a medical emergency have been hailed as heroes.

Panic spread through the tram on Sunday as it sped through stations towards the western city of Bonn.

Two men smashed their way into the cabin of the driver, who was unresponsive.

A woman called the transport company for instructions and the passengers brought the tram to a stop.

Prior to breaking into the cabin, terrified passengers called the police and the emergency brake lever failed to stop the vehicle. The incident happened at around 01:00 local time (00:00 GMT).

“They did exactly the right thing in a dangerous situation and likely saved lives,” Bonn Mayor Ashok Sridharan told local newspaper General Anzeiger.

The local transport operator SWB has defended itself as prosecutors investigate the incident.

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The company said the emergency brake lever does not immediately halt the vehicle but alerts the driver who can then communicate with passengers and bring the tram to a stop.

Systems designed to send out alerts if a driver loses consciousness appear to have malfunctioned.

The driver was recovering in hospital while the men who stopped the tram escaped with minor injuries.

German Police Arrest Man Over High-Speed Rail Tampering


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