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Swedish train causes forest fire with broken brakes

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Swedish train causes forest fire with broken brakes
A firefighter working to extinguish part of the blaze. Photo: David Hårseth/TT
08:13 CEST+02:00
Firefighters battled a forest fire during the night in Värmland caused by sparks from a train travelling with a broken brake.

The driver did not notice that a broken brake was touching a wheel and causing sparks from the 420-metre long freight train. The tracks lacked detectors measuring the wheel temperatures which exist on other lines.

"If it had been dark you maybe could have seen it. But right now you can't see anything. If there were detectors between Grängesberg and Kil it would have been detected," the driver told newspaper Dagens Nyheter (DN).

READ ALSO: Dry weather means 'extreme risk' of forest fires in Sweden

No one was injured in the subsequent fires, and while a handful of outbuildings were damaged, residential buildings managed to escape the path of the blaze.

A family who was not home when their hedges caught fire has neighbours to thank for hurrying to extinguish them.

"The ashes even destroyed the hammock right next to the house, but luckily the tree here didn't burn, because the fire would then have spread to the house," Ulrika Lindborg told local newspaper NWT.

"Bergslagen emergency services are still working in the areas around Asphyttan where fires are smouldering around the railway," Ola Åkesson from the local emergency services explained to news agency TT.

Firefighters are still on stand-by in case they need to travel quickly should fires pick up again, while helicopters are due to be used on Tuesday.

"That's necessary when there's a difficult terrain, it's hard to get around on the ground. Otherwise four-wheelers would be used," Åkesson noted.

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