Train crashes through barrier at Dutch station - and lands on giant whale sculpture 25ft in the air 

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A train has crashed through a barrier at a Dutch station, landing on a giant whale sculpture 25ft in the air. 

The runaway train shot through the station buffer at 12.30am at De Akkers metro station in the city of Spijkenisse. Instead of crashing into the water below, the front carriage ended up suspended dramatically in the air, propped up only by the silver cetacean.

There were no passengers inside the train when the incident happened, and the train driver was unharmed although shaken up. 

A metro train crashed through a buffer stop and landed on a 25ft-high whale artwork near De Akkers station in Spijkenisse, Netherlands, on November 2

The train ran through the station buffer at 30 minutes past midnight last night, at De Akkers metro station in the city of Spijkenisse

 There were no passengers inside the train when the incident happened, and the train driver was unharmed although shaken up

He was taken to hospital for a check-up.  

Images show how the train shot through the end of the track and came to rest suspended precariously on the artwork. 

The undercarriage of the train was completely ripped up in the process, and the train's back windows were smashed in. 

The photos show the train's display sign, which still reads in Dutch: 'Sorry, no service.' 

'The metro went off the rails and it landed on a monument called Saved by the Whale's Tail. So that literally happened,' Carly Gorter of the Rijnmond regional safety authority told AFP.

'Because of the whale's tail the driver actually was saved, it's incredible.'

The driver was later held for questioning, the safety authority said. The cause of the crash was still being investigated. 

Images show how the train shot through the end of the track and came to rest suspended precariously on the artwork

Authorities are now faced with the task of removing the train, which incurred extensive damage in the incident, and reopening the station, although the area will be cordoned off for quite some time.

'It will be quite an exercise, it will take some time,' a police spokesperson told local media. 

The artwork that it came to rest on, ironically named 'Saved by the Whale's Tail', features two tails which are designed to look as though they are protruding out of water at a height of 25ft each. 

The sculpture was built around 20 years ago in a park underneath the raised metro, its name a deliberate play on the fact that it is a 'tail track' at the end of the line.  

A team of experts, including the architect of the sculpture, was now on site to work out how to safely remove the train.

'The problem is it's water around it, so a crane isn't able to get there,' said Gorter.

'We have a lot of wind at the moment and that's one of the issues that we're facing, that's a risk and worry.'

Metro train balancing on meter-high whale tail after crash through buffer in Spijkenisse. The artwork that it came to rest on, ironically named 'Saved by the Whale's Tail', features two tails which are designed to look as though they are protruding out of water at a height of 25ft each

There were no injuries but the driver was taken to hospital for a checkup. The sculpture was built around 20 years ago in a park underneath the raised metro, its name a deliberate play on the fact that it is a 'tail track' at the end of the line

The architect who designed it, Maarten Struijs, said he was impressed that it could bear the weight of the train - and that the driver was lucky he did not collide with the other, higher whale tail

The architect who designed it, Maarten Struijs, said he was impressed that it could bear the weight of the train - and that the driver was lucky he did not collide with the other, higher whale tail.

'If this tail was not so strong, not so low, then the driver of the metro train would have jumped 10 metres down and then I don't think he would have survived,' Struijs told AFP.

'If he had bumped on the other tail then I think it would have been a different accident.'

Struijs said the statue was not designed as a safety feature.

'It was not made to save the metro, because it's more for the neighbourhood and the people wanted to have something for themselves. So we made these two tails of the whale... for them, as a monument.'

Stunned local residents turned out in force to see the bizarre sight - so much so that local authorities urged them to stay away and to observe coronavirus social distancing measures.

A team of emergency services and experts, including the architect, was now on site to work out how to safely remove the train.

'The problem is it's water around it, so a crane isn't able to get there,' said Gorter.

Stunned local residents turned out in force to see the bizarre sight - so much so that local authorities urged them to stay away and to observe coronavirus social distancing measures

'How long this will take, we actually don't really know at this moment. I'm not guessing today so maybe it will still be there tomorrow,' she added.

'We have a lot of wind at the moment and that's one of the issues that we're facing, that's a risk and worry.'

In the meantime, Struijs said the metro train suspended in mid-air was a kind of work of art in itself.

'I could never have imagined it that way,' he told Dutch public broadcaster NOS.

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