Six people died in the accident and 16 were injured when an express train on the bridge braked suddenly after apparently being struck by flying cargo from the freight train travelling in the opposite direction, according to initial accounts from local police, quoted in media reports.
Police said one of the freight train’s tarpaulins had been torn off and one possibility was that escaping cargo had hit the passenger train, causing “considerable damage”.
One side of front of the passenger train had been ripped open, TV footage showed.
The Danish authorities have launched an investigation into the crash which happened as Storm Alfrida pounded large parts of Scandinavia, leading to the closure of roads and bridges and causing power outages.
Several Danish bridges, including the Great Belt, were closed to road traffic early yesterday because of the storm but the majority of train services were running normally.
In a brief statement issued yesterday, Deutsche Bahn expressed “dismay at the tragic train accident in Denmark”, It said its thoughts were with the victims and their families and also the injured.
The statement added: “A train of the Danish subsidiary of DB Cargo, which was on its way from Hoje-Taastrup to Fredericia, was involved in the accident. The cause of the train accident is currently being investigated by the Danish authorities. DB Cargo is on site and is doing its utmost to support the investigation of the accident”.
A updated statement on the accident is due to be issued later today, a DB Cargo spokesperson told Lloyd's Loading List.
The freight train was carrying a consignment of beer for Carslberg.
“DB Cargo Scandinavia has unfortunately confirmed that a freight train carrying our goods was involved in the accident. We do not know any more at this point in time, but we are in close contact with the operator, and we will of course do everything we can to help with the investigation”, a spokesperson for the Danish brewer told Lloyd's Loading List yesterday. “Our deepest compassion goes out to all involved”.