Two Swedish teens killed in train accident

Two 18-year-old women died after being hit by a train just south of Stenungsund in western Sweden on Thursday afternoon.

Exactly what caused the accident remains under investigation.

“The train saw them from a long way away and signaled, but they weren’t able to get out of the way,” police spokesperson Björ Blixter to the TT news agency.

Several of the victims’ classmates from nearby Nösnäsgymnasiet high school witnessed the accident, prompting the school to call a crisis meeting shortly after the accident, the Göteborg-Posten (GP) newspaper reported.

According to the newspaper, the accident took place at an unguarded crossing across the tracks about 500 metres from the school which featured signals and lights, but no booms, and was often used by students to cross the track on their way to and from school.

In addition to the students, there were several others who witness the event, many of whom will be interviewed by police in an effort to learn more about the exact chain of events.

“We consider what happened to be an accident, but we’re going to investigate what happened,” said police spokesperson Stefan Gustafsson.

Emergency services were called about the accident shortly after 1.30pm.

The train was traveling north on a single track just south of Stenungsund station at the time of the accident.

Two trains had to be rerouted and at least on train remain stuck on the tracks while authorities worked to clear the track at the scene of the accident.

“Buses have been called in to replaced the cancelled trains,” Lars Hedström of the Swedish Transport Administration (Trafikverket) told TT.

Trains along the line, known as the Bohusbanan, were taken out of service for several hours during the afternoon while crews examined signals along the stretch of track near the accident site.

“We’re going to test the signaling equipment before trains can be let through,” said Hedström.

By 5pm, trains were once again running normally, but with delays of up to 30 minutes.

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Grounded Finland ferry refloated and heading back to port

UPDATE: A ferry that ran aground next to islands between Finland and Sweden with nearly 430 crew and passengers on board, was refloated and heading for port, its owners said Sunday.

Grounded Finland ferry refloated and heading back to port
The Viking Line ship Grace hit rocks in in the Aland archipelago. Photo AFP

The Viking Line's “Grace” hit rocks on Saturday afternoon while sailing between the Finnish port of Turku and the Swedish capital Stockholm, shortly before a stopover in Mariehamn, in the Aland archipelago, Finland's coast guard said.

The passengers had to spend the night on board, though there was no immediate danger as it was not taking on water. No one was hurt in the incident.

A tug boat helped refloat the ferry in the small hours of Sunday morning, the coast guard said on Twitter.

After disembarking around 260 passengers at Mariehamn, it went on to its home port of Turku in Finland, a Viking Line spokeswoman told AFP Sunday. It would undergo repairs in the coming days, she added.

Although the cause of the accident has yet to be established, the coast guard said there were strong winds in the area at the time.

The company cancelled its Saturday ferry service, which was to have been taken by a smaller vessel, because of a storm warning.

In September, another Viking Line ferry, the Amorella, ran aground on the same Aaland Island and the passengers had to be evacuated.