Deaths as magnetic train crashes - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

9/22/06

Deaths as magnetic train crashes

BERLIN, Germany (CNN) -- Several people testing a high-speed train in northwestern Germany may have died after the train collided with a repair wagon accidentally parked on the tracks Friday, Emsland County spokesman Dieter Sturm said.

Thirty people were on board during the testing of the magnetic levitation train, which can exceed up to 280 mph (450 km/h), when it crashed into the repair wagon and partially derailed.

"Two workers were reportedly on the wagon when it was hit," Sturm said.

An exact number of victims has not been released yet, as heavy smoke and dust has hampered the recovery effort, but Sturm said some people have been killed and many have been severely wounded.

The accident occurred between the town of Lathen and Melstrup in lower Saxony, Sturm said. The company in charge of the test-run, IAWG, said the track line the engineers were traveling on is the world's largest test track for magnetic trains.

High-speed magnetic levitation trains are propelled by electrically charged magnets that allow the train to hover just above the track and swiftly travel without friction along the track .This technology is reportedly faster and more comfortable than traditional trains.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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