Rounding Up Europe’s Rail Disasters

23 March 2010 (Last Updated March 23rd, 2010 18:30)

When two trains collided in February 2010, the accident was hailed as the worst Belgium had seen in decades. In recent years, European countries have experienced accidents with a range of causes and consequences. We take a look at some of the major incidents of the past five years.

Rounding Up Europe’s Rail Disasters

European legislators are constantly working with rail companies and engineers to help limit all types of accidents, structural damage to rolling stock and most importantly loss of life. Whether due to human error, lack of adequate safety measures, faulty equipment or a combination of factors, Europe's railways have nevertheless still been the scene of tragic loss of life.

Here we document some of the most prominent rail accidents of the last five years.

February 2010: In Belgium, two passenger trains collide head on at Halle, near the Belgian capital of Brussels, killing 25.

"European legislators are constantly working with rail companies and engineers to help limit all types of accidents."

June 2009: A freight train carrying gas explodes and crashes into several homes in the Italian seaside town of Viareggio, killing 22 people.

February 2009: A passenger train ploughs into a tourist coach on a level crossing near the town of Brezno in Slovakia, killing 11 people.

August 2008: An express train hits a collapsed bridge in the Czech town of Studenka, killing seven people and injuring 70.

February 2008: Fire sweeps through an overnight train after near the Bulgarian town of Cherven Bryag, killing nine people.

June 2007: A head-on crash between cargo and passenger trains between the towns of Bortigali and Birori in Sardinia kills three people.

February 2007: One woman dies and 89 people are injured when a passenger train derails in Cumbria, UK.

January 2007: A freight train smashes into a truck carrying farm workers at a railway crossing in Hatay Province, Turkey, killing seven people.

"Human error, a lack of safety measures, faulty equipment or a combination of these factors can cause accidents."

October 2006: Two people are killed and around 60 injured when two metro trains collide at Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II station in Rome.

October 2006: A goods train and a passenger train collide in France, just south of the border with Luxembourg, killing six people.

September 2006: A magnetic monorail train collides with a maintenance wagon in Lathen, Germany, killing 23 people.

August 2006: A passenger train derails in northern Spain, killing six people and injuring least 36.

June 2006: A metro train crash in the Spanish city of Valencia kills at least 30 people and injures dozens of others.

January 2006: At least 39 people die and 135 are injured when a train plunges down a ravine after its brakes fail in Podgorica, Montenegro.

January 2005: A crowded Italian train collides head on with a freight convoy in thick fog near Bologna in Italy, killing at least 14 people and injuring more than 50.