SIEGBURG/MONTABAUR Early on Friday morning, an ICE wagon caught fire and burnt out entirely on the track between Siegburg and Montabaur. 510 people were brought to safety. The route will be closed presumably until midnight tonight.
According to the rescue services and the train company, nobody was injured when the fire broke out on the Frankfurt-Cologne fast track. The blaze was noticed near Dierdorf (Neuwied area), when the train had left Cologne, heading towards Munich. According to the Deutsche Bahn, there was smoke development at first in two of the train’s wagons, only after that did flames become visible. One wagon burnt out entirely and was completely destroyed, said a spokesperson for the Deutsche Bahn in Koblenz. The reason for the fire is not yet clear. The important fast track is currently still closed.
The rescued passengers and staff were brought to a nearby parish building in buses. The train passengers will be interviewed in regard to the incident.
Due to the fire, the smoke and to the fire brigade needing the road space, the busy motorway A3 was temporarily closed. The fire fighters used a lot of extinguishing foam. During the morning the A3 towards Cologne was reopened, a little later two of the three lanes towards Frankfurt were opened again too.
The cleanup work and repair efforts will presumably take all day Friday. According to the Deutsche Bahn it is not foreseeable how long the fast track will remain closed.
After the emergency services have cleared the scene, experts will attempt to get an overview regarding any damage to tracks, overhead lines and signalling technology.
Commuters between Cologne and Frankfurt have to factor in train cancellations and delays of up to 90 minutes. (Original text: dpa)