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Polish lorry driver in police custody in Czech Republic

PR dla Zagranicy
Jo Harper 23.07.2015 07:02
The Polish lorry driver whose lorry hit a speeding Pendolino train in the eastern Czech city of Studénka has been accused by Czech police of ‘creating a threat to public security.’
Rescue workers at the crash site on 22 July. Photo: EPA/stringerRescue workers at the crash site on 22 July. Photo: EPA/stringer

Police spokeswoman Gabriela Holczakova said two people had been killed and 13 wounded out of 170 passengers that had been on the train.

In interview with Polish press agency PAP, the Polish consul in Ostrava, Maria Kovacs, said: "I talked to the police and they said the driver had been transported to the University Hospital in Ostrava. He was not being questioned and no charges had been made yet."

Czech Interior Minister Milan Chovanec confirmed that that police had detained the truck driver.

A railway infrastructure management spokesman said that the truck had entered the railway crossing after the barrier had been lowered and a red light was on.

The Polish driver reportedly managed to escape from the lorry, which was then hit by the train. However, local newspaper "Mlada Fronta Dnes" reported that the driver was in the cabin at the time of the accident. The lorry was carrying sheet metal and metal parts.

The accident occurred in the district of Novy Jicin, with the train traveling from Bohumín to Františkovy Lázně.

Kovacs said the accident had occurred at a level crossing in Studénka, approx. 20 km from Ostrava at around 8 am.

The injured were taken to hospitals in Ostrava, Nový Jičín and Bilovci. (jh)

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