Chronology of the Kaprun Tragedy | Europe| News and current affairs from around the continent | DW | 19.02.2004
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Chronology of the Kaprun Tragedy

A total of 155 people including 37 Germans lost their lives in the fire that ravaged a ski-train on the alpine resort of Kaprun, Austria.

Nov. 11, 2000

On a sunny winter day, 170 skiers and snowboarders got into a ski-train 2,452 meters above ground level at the train's base station in Kaprun. The train was to take them to the Kitzsteinhorn mountain peak. The ski-train service inaugurated in 1974 is thought to be the first mountain underground funicular train in the world

At 9:10 a.m. the ski-train was 600 meters into the tunnel when tragedy stuck. A fire that began at the back of the train totally engulfed the train within seconds.

A passenger managed to smash a window with his ski-poles and 18 people escaped to safety.

At 1 p.m. the Premiere of Salzburg, Franz Schausberger, said there were no hopes for any survivors in the charred remains of the train.

At 5 p.m. Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schlüssel announced a period of country-wide mourning.

Nov. 16, 2000

The official death toll is 155 people, 37 of them were from Germany.

Jan. 30, 2001

The gutted train was salvaged for the investigation.

Sept. 6, 2001

Officials released the causes for the tragedy: The malfunctioning heater, located in the back of the train, ignited oil dripping from a hydraulic brake system. The fire spread to the plastic-coated floors of the train.

Sept. 7, 2001

The Kapruner Gletscherbahnen AG which ran the ski-train denied responsibility.

Nov. 11, 2001

Survivors of the tragedy and relatives of the victims commemorated the first anniversary with a silent protest in Kaprun.

Jan. 11, 2002

The Austrian Justice Minister announced a trial would be held against 16 suspects -- including company officials, inspectors and technicians -- responsible for the conditions that led to the tragedy.

June 18, 2002

Six months after the tragedy, the trial opened in a Salzburg court.

  • Date 19.02.2004
  • Author DW Staff (pj)
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  • Date 19.02.2004
  • Author DW Staff (pj)
  • Print Print this page
  • Permalink