Bad Godesberg A man has died after being struck by a train at the Mehlem train station on Wednesday evening. Deutsche Bahn expressed its regret over the tragic accident.
A man was run over by a regional train and killed on Wednesday evening in Mehlem. Rescue workers and an emergency doctor were on the scene but there was nothing they could do to save the young man. He had fallen between the platform and the train at around 9:40 p.m. as the train was leaving the Mehlem station.
Fire and rescue services were on the scene, along with an emergency doctor, police, a chaplain and crisis managers from Deutsche Bahn. As confirmed by the Bonn police, the cause of the accident has not yet been fully determined and there are no indications of foul play. Events leading up to the accident remained unclear on Thursday and an investigation has been initiated. On the evening of the accident, a replacement service was set up to shuttle passengers, operating until 11:20 pm.
Federal Railroad Administration: railroad companies responsible for operations
A spokesman for the Federal Railroad Administration commented by e-mail on Thursday, "Under the General Railway Act, railroad companies are responsible for running their operations safely. Facilities and trains must be built in compliance with and maintain safety standards at all times." Minimum safety requirements include loudspeakers to broadcast warnings when trains pass through stations at speeds of more than 160 kilometers per hour.
Trans Regio, the company that operates the regional train involved in the accident, would not comment on the incident Thursday. "We do not comment on train accidents involving people," a press office employee said by phone. The company would also not say anything about safety measures, he said. Deutsche Bahn, which is responsible for the Mehlem train station, said by e-mail, "We very much regret the tragic accident at Mehlem station." The spokesman also referred to investments in safety and security and an educational campaign about being cautious while at the train station.
"There are systems that can provide more safety on the platform. They are common in many countries," Professor Markus Hecht said by phone. He is head of the rail vehicles department at the Institute of Land and Sea Transport at the Technical University of Berlin. One solution, he said, is walls that separate the track from the platform with a door to access the train. When the train stops, the doors open, allowing passengers to get on and off. "In Germany, however, people are put off by the costs," Hecht said. In Singapore, he said, the entire network was equipped with such a system within a year after accidents began to become more commonplace. According to Hecht, camera systems that allow train conductors to monitor the vehicle are also standard in other countries. In Germany, he said, there are neither mirrors nor cameras. "That's hair-raising," Hecht says.
According to the police, there is not a high frequency of accidents at Mehlem train station. Add to that, it is not always possible to determine who is responsible for fatalities involving people.
(Orig. text: Dennis Scherer / Translation: Carol Kloeppel)