Derailed train caught by whale sculpture to be salvaged

National
  • A salvaging crew prepares to attach chain to lift to a metro train carriage after it rammed through the end of an elevated section of rails with the driver escaping injuries in Spijkenisse, near Rotterdam, Netherlands, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
  • The whale's tail of a sculpture caught the front carriage of a metro train as it rammed through the end of an elevated section of rails with the driver escaping injuries in Spijkenisse, near Rotterdam, Netherlands, Monday, Nov. 2, 2020. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
  • The whale's tail of a sculpture caught the front carriage of a metro train as it rammed through the end of an elevated section of rails with the driver escaping injuries in Spijkenisse, near Rotterdam, Netherlands, Monday, Nov. 2, 2020. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
  • The whale's tail of a sculpture caught the front carriage of a metro train as it rammed through the end of an elevated section of rails with the driver escaping injuries in Spijkenisse, near Rotterdam, Netherlands, Monday, Nov. 2, 2020. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

SPIJKENISSE, Netherlands (AP) — A salvage operation got underway Tuesday to lift a runaway metro train off a sculpture of a whale’s tail, where it landed after plowing through the end of an elevated section of rails.

The train was left precariously balanced on the whale’s tail sculpture 10 meters (33 feet) above the ground Monday, after plunging off the end of a metro line in Spijkenisse, a town on the southern edge of Rotterdam.

The train was empty at the time and the driver escaped unhurt, thanks to the whale tail’s unlikely catch.

Two large yellow cranes were working in tandem early Tuesday, first looping a cable around the front of the train as the operation began.

The local security authority said that it would likely be lifted off the sculpture in the afternoon. It said the driver was interviewed by police Monday as part of the investigation into the cause of the crash and allowed to go home.

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