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German rail operator compensates victims of train air conditioning failure

Germany's rail operator Deutsche Bahn has paid 2.7 million euros in compensation to passengers affected by air conditioning failures on high-speed trains during a heat-wave in July.

An ICE train at sundown

Air conditioners in ICE trains were shut down by record temperatures

German rail operator Deutsche Bahn has so far paid out 2.7 million euros ($3.5 million) to passengers affected by air conditioning failures on its high-speed trains.

A heat-wave in July exceeded the capabilities of the air-conditioning units on Inter-City Express (ICE) trains. Temperatures inside the trains were above 32 degrees Celsius (89 degrees Fahrenheit), causing some passengers to be hospitalized due to dehydration and the extreme heat.

A girl is taken off a train on a stretcher

The heat in the trains sent some passengers to the hospital

A spokesperson for Deutsche Bahn said 23,000 passengers have so far received compensation, with more applications waiting to be processed.

The pay-outs vary according to a passenger's degree of suffering on board the overheated trains, with some receiving free travel vouchers or 500 euros in cash.

The Pro-Bahn passenger lobby group welcomed the payments. The organization's head, Karl-Peter Naumann, told the daily Hamburger Abendblatt that the rail operator was acting in a sensible way and that he was not aware of complaints about delayed payments.

Author: Matt Zuvela (Reuters/dpa)

Editor: Sean Sinico

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