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Several killed after train hits bus in southern Slovakia

June 27, 2024

The train had left the Czech capital of Prague and was on its way to the Hungarian capital of Budapest when it collided with a bus in the town of Nove Zamky. Some 200 people were on board the train at the time.

Emergency personnel work
The crash occurred just after 5:00 pm (1500 GMT) near the southwestern town of Nove ZamkyImage: Robert Novak/REUTERS

Seven people were killed and five others injured after a train traveling from Prague to Budapest collided with a bus on Thursday, authorities said.

The Eurocity train connecting the Czech capital with the Hungarian capital met with the accident just after 5 p.m. (1500 GMT) near the town of Nove Zamky in southern Slovakia, according to the rescue officials.

Authorities said the death toll might increase. 

The line linking the Slovak capital of Bratislava to Budapest was to remain closed until at least 4 a.m. (0200 GMT).

What do we know about the crash?

About 200 people were aboard the Eurocity train when the accident took place, police and the Slovak national railway company ZSSK said.

Railway officials said the bus was badly damaged in the crash.

Railway spokeswoman Vladimira Bahylova told the French AFP news agency that the driver of the train "suffered burns because the locomotive caught on fire."

Stranded passengers were transported by buses to the town of Sturovo on the Hungarian border.

Smoke billows from a fire
The Eurocity train had been headed from Prague to BudapestImage: Katarina Molnarova Perlacosmetic/REUTER

A video from the scene showed passengers carrying luggage beside a partially burning train, with thick grey smoke rising.

Katarina Molnarova, who recorded the video, told AFP she "felt and heard a crash and a bang" just as the train left Nove Zamky station.

Molnarova said the passengers saw the front part of the train on fire.

"There was no screaming or panicking... We grabbed our luggage and walked to the road... I saw parts of the bus that had been scattered upon impact."

Authorities investigate crash

Railway spokesperson Vladimira Bahylova said the collision occurred at a railway crossing that was protected by barriers and was equipped with light signals.

Slovak President Peter Pellegrini, who was attending an EU summit in Brussels, offered his condolences to the relatives of the dead.

"I wish the injured a speedy recovery and thank the doctors and rescue teams for their work done," Pellegrini said. "I wish that such catastrophes would avoid Slovakia in the future."

Interior Minister Matus Sutaj Estok, who arrived at the scene of the accident, said authorities were investigating the cause of the accident.

sdi, ss/rmt (AFP, Reuters, AP)