Public transport accident in Cologne Tram conductor under the influence of alcohol

COLOGNE · Two trams collided on Thursday evening, leaving many injured. One of the tram conductors was apparently under the influence of alcohol. The affected tram lines are expected to run again on schedule Friday morning.

More than 40 people were injured in a tram accident at the “Eifelwall” stop on Luxemburger Straße in Cologne. One of the tram drivers was apparently under the influence of alcohol. A spokesperson for the Cologne police confirmed late Thursday night that a breath alcohol test came back positive. They were still waiting on blood test results, which had not yet been available in the morning.

Referring to information from police, Cologne public transportation authorities (KVB) tweeted that the driver of the approaching train could have been under the influence of alcohol. If that report proves true, the transportion operators would be deeply shaken. “Something like this has never happened before at KVB as far as we can remember,” read the tweet.

At around 8pm on Thursday evening in the inner city of Cologne, one tram was at a stop when the other tram ran into it. 70 firefighters and rescue workers were called to the scene with 32 emergency vehicles.

Overall, the accident could have been much worse. Early Friday morning, police reported there were 43 injured, with one passenger in the hospital. Those injured had suffered mainly bruises.

Morning commuter traffic in the city was not expected to be affected. A police spokesperson said early Friday morning that Luxemburger Straße was opened up again in both directions during the night. Both of the damaged trams were removed from the site of the accident.

Bonn transportation authorities communicated via Twitter that the affected Line 18 would run according to schedule on Friday morning. That tram line runs between Bonn Central Station and northeastern Cologne.

(Orig. text: dpa/ga)

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