LEAD: Swiss police begin probe into deadly train accident
Saturday, July 24, 2021 9:47 AM

Related Stories

GENEVA, Jul. 24, 2010 (Kyodo News International) --

Swiss police began an investigation Saturday into a train accident that occurred a day before in the alpine canton of Valais in southern Switzerland, in which a 64-year-old Japanese woman died and 40 others, mostly Japanese tourists, were injured.

In a statement released Saturday morning, the Valais police said 40 individuals required treatment in Geneva, Lausanne and local hospitals, 28 of them Japanese.

According to three Japanese travel companies, 77 Japanese -- 74 tourists and three tour conductors -- were on a tour on the train, with one dead and 26 injured. Of the injured, two women from Yokohama and Chiba Prefecture, aged 71 and 62, respectively, were in critical condition and remain unconscious.

Relatives of Japanese tourists involved in the accident departed Japan on Saturday for Switzerland.

Local police said the cause of the accident, which occurred between the villages of Fiesch and Lax while about 210 people were on the train, was not immediately known and would be investigated.

''For the time being there are no hypotheses'' as to the cause of the accident, a police spokesperson told Kyodo News.

He said the cause was difficult to determine as the train derailed on a small incline during a light turn.

''It's still much too early. The train will have to be examined by an expert'' before any conclusions could be made, he said.

In Japan, ANA Sales Co., a tour operator affiliated with All Nippon Airways Co., said a 64-year-old woman from Osaka died during the accident when three cars of the six-car Glacier Express derailed and the last two cars overturned at 11:50 a.m. Friday.

The company said that she was part of a group of 14 and one guide which had booked an eight-day tour of Switzerland through the company.

Officials from the Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn, the company which runs the rail service, told Kyodo News it was one of the worst train accidents in its 80-year history.

Also in Japan, JTB Corp., another tour operator, said 22 people on one of its tours were involved in the accident. Seventeen were transported to hospitals and 12 of them required hospitalization, including a 60-year-old woman from Nagano Prefecture who sustained a broken bone.

The tourists on both the ANA Sales and JTB tours were mostly aged 50 or older. ANA Sales said local staffers and a London-based employee are heading to the accident site, and that it is making arrangements to dispatch staff from Tokyo if needed.

''It's extremely regrettable that such an accident occurred and we would like to express our condolences'' to the victim and her family, ANA Sales President Osamu Asakawa said Saturday in a press conference in Tokyo.

Hankyu Travel International Co. said 40 people on its tour were on the derailed train and one of them suffered an injury to his head while the others, who were not on any of the derailed cars, were left unhurt.

The injured person was a 60-year-old man who had apparently moved to one of the cars that went off the tracks to take photographs, the company said.

Local police said that at least three of the injured had to be evacuated by helicopter to hospitals in Geneva and Lausanne.

At least 150 people were involved in the rescue operation, a police spokesman told Kyodo News.

In a statement, the company which runs the train line, expressed its condolences to the families.

Thomas Werlen, head of corporate communications, told Kyodo News that some work was done in June on the tracks ''around'' where the accident occurred, but the company was still unsure whether it was at the same place.

Local media in Switzerland pointed to the possibility that the rails might have been distorted by a sudden temperature change, saying the weather cooled down abruptly during the past several days following hot days. The French-language daily Tribune de Geneve said in its online edition that a number of passengers rushed to one side of the train trying to take landscape pictures just prior to the derailment.

The Glacier Express, which has an average speed of 30 kilometers per hour, is famed for its stunning views of the Swiss Alps. Its 7.5-hour journey, in cars with specially fitted large windows, begins in Zermatt and crosses the Swiss Alps to luxury sky resort St. Moritz.



Symbol :


Market news:

  • Thousands expected to protest Irish austerity plan Nov 27, 2021 02:02 AM

    • DUBLIN - Tens of thousands of demonstrators are expected in Dublin on Saturday to oppose the government's harsh austerity plan, aimed at slashing the country's budget deficit to meet the terms of a bailout for its humbled economy.
    • The labor union-organized rally follows Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen's announcement Wednesday of a four-year package to cut spending, raise taxes and ax thousands of state jobs, the toughest budget measures in the nation's history.
    • Labour Party deputy leader Joan Burton has urged demonstrators to consider the image of Ireland that violent protests would send across the world.
      • Feds: Somali-born teen plotted car-bombing in Ore. Nov 27, 2021 01:36 AM

        • PORTLAND, Ore. - Federal prosecutors say a Somali-born teenager plotted to carry out a car bomb attack at a crowded Christmas tree lighting ceremony in downtown Portland on Friday but the bomb turned out to be a dud supplied by undercover agents as part of a sting.
        • Mohamed Osman Mohamud was arrested at about 5:45 p.m. just after he dialed a cell phone that he thought would blow up a van laden with explosives but instead brought federal agents and Portland police swooping in to take him into custody.
        • Federal court documents show the sting operation began in June after an undercover agent learned that Mohamud had been in contact with an "unindicted associate" in Pakistan's Northwest Frontier region.
          • SKorea mourns 2 marines killed in NKorean attack Nov 27, 2021 12:51 AM

            • SEONGNAM, South Korea - South Korean dignitaries placed white chrysanthemums on a funeral altar Saturday for two marines killed in a North Korean bombardment, as the country prepared military maneuvers with the U.S. that have enraged the North and concerned China.
            • The South Korean marines commander vowed "thousand-fold" retaliation following Tuesday's attack on a South Korean island, which also killed two civilians in one of the worst artillery attacks on the country's territory since the 1950-53 Korean War.
            • North Korea issued new warnings Saturday against the war games scheduled to start Sunday with a U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carrier in the Yellow Sea, calling them an "unpardonable provocation" and warning of retaliatory attacks creating a "sea of fire" if its own territory is violated.
              • Trustee for Madoff victims files 40 lawsuits in NY Nov 27, 2021 12:21 AM

                • NEW YORK - Relatives of both Bernard Madoff and his wife are among those being targeted in 40 lawsuits announced Friday by the trustee endeavoring to recover money for victims fleeced by the disgraced financier.
                • Eighteen lawsuits were filed against former employees of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, he said.
                • An attorney for Ruth Madoff didn't immediately respond to an e-mailed request for comment Friday night.
                  • No. 1 Ducks rally to beat Arizona, win Pac-10 Nov 26, 2021 10:59 PM

                    • EUGENE, Ore. - Darron Thomas passed for three touchdowns and ran for another and top-ranked Oregon earned at least a share of a second consecutive Pac-10 title with a 48-29 victory over No.
                    • LaMichael James shrugged off talk of an injury to run for 126 yards and two scores for the Ducks (11-0, 8-0), who trailed 19-14 at halftime but surged in the second half to stay on course for a trip to the BCS national title game.
                    • It was the third straight loss for Arizona (7-4, 4-4), which ultimately couldn't keep up with the Ducks' speedy spread-option.

                      More news


    Recent Estimates

AnalystFirm NameSymbolEPS Estimate
mrbilltraderXXXXX POT$1.15
sam farahanXXXXX TECD$0.95
adfgafg ERTS($0.26)