Rotterdam: Whale sculpture catches crashed Dutch metro train before 30ft drop

A Dutch metro train was saved from disaster on Sunday night after it smashed through a safety barrier but was prevented from plummeting into water by a sculpture of a whale tail.

The crash happened just after midnight at the De Akkers metro station in Spijkenisse, near the port city of Rotterdam.

The driver of the train, who was the only person on board, was able to exit the train by himself and is not thought to have been seriously injured.

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The front carriage was left hanging 30 feet above the water below, propped up precariously by the giant art installation.

A Dutch metro train was saved from disaster on Sunday night after it smashed through a safety barrier but was prevented from plummeting into water by a sculpture of a whale tail. (Photo by Robin Utrecht / ANP / AFP)
A Dutch metro train was saved from disaster on Sunday night after it smashed through a safety barrier but was prevented from plummeting into water by a sculpture of a whale tail. (Photo by Robin Utrecht / ANP / AFP)

The sculpture, which has been in place at the station for nearly 20 years is called, fittingly: "Saved by the Whale's Tail."

Engineers working at the scene are now trying to figure out how to remove the train safely.

On Monday an official at the crash site told the Dutch national broadcaster, NOS, that they are “trying to decide how we can bring the train down in a careful and controlled manner.

He expressed surprise that the sculpture was able to carry the weight of the train carriage.

The crash happened just after midnight at the De Akkers metro station in Spijkenisse, near the port city of Rotterdam. (Photo by Jeffrey Groeneweg / ANP / AFP)

"It has been there for almost 20 years and... you actually expect the plastic to pulverise a bit, but that is apparently not the case," he said.

"I'll make sure that I get a few photos," he told reporters. "I could never have imagined it that way."

In 2017, Dutch train passengers collectively travelled more than 18 billion kilometres. The country’s rail system is regularly ranked as one of the safest in Europe.

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