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Cleaning lady steals train and crashes into house

Cleaning lady steals train and crashes into house

Published: 15 Jan 2013 13:11 GMT+01:00
Updated: 15 Jan 2013 13:11 GMT+01:00

Officials remain baffled as to why a cleaning lady commandeered a train in the upscale Stockholm suburb of Saltsjöbaden early Tuesday morning and crashed it into a house, where it remains while crews work out how to safely remove the wreckage.

“The woman started driving the train from the Neglinge train station, which is two stops from Saltsjöbaden, and usually a three-minute ride,” SL spokesman Jesper Pettersson told The Local.

"The train usually goes at about 10 kilometres an hour in this area, but we estimate that she was going at about 70 kilometres per hour."

When the train reached the final stop on the line at around 3am, it careened off the tracks and into the first-floor kitchen of one of the house's three flats, causing severe damage.

No passengers were on the train at the time, but a woman was trapped in the wreckage for two hours before rescue crews managed to get her out.

“We still don’t know why she was in the driver’s seat or whether the incident was an accident. There’s a police investigation underway and we’re waiting for them for clarification.”

The cleaner, who is in her twenties, was flown by helicopter to the Karolinska University Hospital for treatment of what emergency workers described as "serious" injuries.

She has since been ordered detained on suspicion of public devastation (allmänfarlig ödeläggelse).

RELATED PHOTO GALLERY: More images from the scene of the crash

According to the Expressen newspaper, there were five residents from three different families sleeping in the building at the time of the accident.

"It's incredibly lucky that no one in the house was injured," police spokesman Ulf Lindgren told the TT news agency.

"The head of the emergency services crew has ordered the house to be evacuated for safety reasons."

As of 1.30pm, the derailed train was still inside the house, according to Pettersson, while emergency services determine how to remove it.

“It’s important to find out if the structure of the house can cope with the removal of the train, no one wants to risk the building’s integrity,” he told The Local.

A spokesman for subcontractor Arriva, which is responsible for operating the line, characterized the incident as a theft.

"It was a cleaner who for unknown reasons stole the train," Arriva spokesman Tomas Hedenius told Aftonbladet.

"She was a cleaner. Somehow she managed to get in and steal one of the trains. We're investigating how it could have happened."

In the wake of the incident, local politicians have called upon SL to beef up security procedures.

"It shouldn't be possible for unauthorized people to drive our trains," Christer G Wennerholm, a Moderate member of the Stockholm County Council's traffic committee, said in a statement.

Replacement buses are taking commuters between the Neglinge and Saltsjöbaden stops on the Saltsjöbanan train line, according to SL, although the rest of the line is functioning normally.

Jesper Pettersson at SL promised the incident will result in a "major review" of the company's current security system.

TT/The Local/dl

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Your comments about this article

09:55 January 15, 2013 by Lemon1987
Reasonable Homer Simpsons on acid acting...
11:56 January 15, 2013 by Rishonim
Comedy capers.. Did someone move the house and placed it on the train tracks? And since when is Saltsjöbaden an upscale neighborhood?
12:58 January 15, 2013 by born2die
This young laday whose stolen the train watching too much action film. She properly pretending she's making a movie and will be on the top list.... She is... isn't it?
14:38 January 15, 2013 by prince T
I hope this is not a terrorist attack
15:13 January 15, 2013 by bug?
Isn't use of the word 'house' rather than 'building' here a good example of swenglish?
15:20 January 15, 2013 by EtoileBrilliant
@Rishonim "And since when is Saltsjöbaden an upscale neighborhood?"

Isn't that where Solsiden is filmed/takes place?
16:44 January 15, 2013 by Åskar
@bug?

From Merriam-Webster online:

"a building that serves as living quarters for one or a few families"

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/house
16:44 January 15, 2013 by Emerentia
@ Rishonim "And since when is Saltsjöbaden an upscale neighborhood?"

Since about early 1900:s, when wealty stockholmers started to build big summer houses ("Grosshandlarvillor") out there. Along with places like Djursholm and Äppelviken it's the one of most expensive places to buy a house in Sweden.

The house is situated about 30 meters or so from the station and the end of the line, I think.
19:24 January 15, 2013 by Hamsterdam
Did they construct the building right next to the tracks end, or the other way around?

Sue the planner!
19:49 January 15, 2013 by Bigd
The cleaning lady that made a right bloody mess lol
10:28 January 16, 2013 by Kitayama
@Hamsterdam:

The railway has been there since 1893, the buildings have been there for maybe 10-15 years(?). They are actually built on old railway land as the line once continued to an harbour.
16:58 January 16, 2013 by jostein
Haha! Absolutely ingreadible! Totally amazing! Cant wait to read the flashbackthread about this when it fleshes out a bit :D An instant classic!
14:38 January 18, 2013 by Nikki Lindqvist
I don't understand why everyone keeps saying she stole the train in the same sentence practically that they say they still don't know what happened?!?!?!? It's really the wrong use of the word 'stole' isn't it? I mean, you don't steal a train!
21:15 March 21, 2013 by janeway
No, she didn't. And I hope she sues your pants off for defamation.
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