Train ‘burns’ and cars collide in Öresund bridge drill

Train 'burns' and cars collide in Öresund bridge drill
Actors and emergency workers taking part in the drill on the crossing between Sweden and Denmark. Photo: Björn Lindgren/TT
A chaotic enactment of a major accident was staged on the Öresund bridge between Sweden and Denmark on Wednesday, with participants being hit by cars, trampled over, and a train catching fire.

The crossing between Malmö and Copenhagen (made famous by Nordic crime drama The Bridge) was closed between 8pm and 11pm on Wednesday night as Swedish and Danish emergency services carried out the large scale drill.

The scenario – involving 350 people in total – started with a planned fire on a train in the railway tunnel section of the bridge. About 100 actors playing passengers then called emergency services and fled through exits out to the parallel motorway tunnel, leading to some being hit by cars, others being trampled over, and vehicle crashes.

Pictures taken of the exercise by Swedish news agency TT show the surreal sight of extras lying in the middle of the normally busy motorway and being attended to by paramedics.

Actors and emergency services workers during the drill. Photo: Björn Lindgren/TT

“Some of the extras were heavily made-up and they really went for it, screaming loudly,” TT reported from the scene.

The Öresund Bridge Consortium which owns and runs the crossing explained that the point of the drill was to ensure knowledge of and access to emergency escape routes is sufficient should there ever be an accident on the bridge.

Police were not entirely satisfied with the time it took for the alarm to reach them from the burning train however.

“It took a little too long for the emergency services personnel to arrive, but once they did they did everything right,” Jens Jespersen of Copenhagen Police told Swedish newspaper Sydsvenskan.

This was the first time that an exercise on both the railway and motorway sides of the bridge had been arranged since it opened in July 2000.