In numbers: Europe’s deadly railway crashes


A deadly train crash in Greece this week left at least 36 people dead and dozens more injured. 

It’s one of the worst railway disasters in Europe in recent years, but goes against an overall downward tren in European Union countrires for both the number of rail accidents and the number of fatalities. 

Here’s a look at some of the worst rail disasters in recent years, and the detailed data across Europe for the number of train crashes and the number of fatalities: 

Austria, Kaprun (2000)

A fire in a tunnel in Austrian killed 155 people in 2000 – most of the fatalities were on an ascending funicular, but some people were killed on the descending funicular and in the station. The victims were skiers who were going to the nearby Kitzsteinhorn Glacier. Only 12 people survived the fire. 

Bioče, Montenegro (2006)

A failure of the braking system caused a train derailment at Bioče in Montenegro that least 45 people dead including five children. There were 184 people injuried in Montenegro’s worst train disaster, when the train fell into a 100m ravine above a river, about 10km north of the capital Podgorica. 

Eschede, Germany (1998)

A high speed train derailed and crashed into an overpass which crossed the railroad. The overpass then collapsed onto the Hannover-Humburg train. In total 101 people were killed and another 88 injured. The cause of the derailment was a fatigue crack on one wheel.  

Galicia, Spain (2013)

Eighty people were killed and more than 140 others were injured when a high-speed train derailed near Santiago de Compostela in July 2013. An investigation revealed that the train from Madrid was travelling 179 km/h along a stretch of track with an 80 km/h speed limit. It was the worst rail disaster in Spain since 1972. Investigators also found that the driver had been talking to the conductor on his mobile phone just moments before the accident.

Lake Balaton, Hungary (2003)

At least 32 German tourists were killed in Hungary when their double-decker bus was sliced in two by a passenger train. The coach was crossing the tracks near Siofok on the shores of Lake Balaton, about 100 kilometres southwest of Budapest, when the accident took place. The train, which was traveling between Budapest to Nagykanizsa, was carrying mostly older tourists from the northern states of Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein, Germany’s Foreign Ministry.

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