Not so killer whale tail saves train from catastrophe

Lily Holbrook explores what happened when a tram was saved by a sculpture, in the Netherlands.

Lily Holbrook
16th November 2020
A sculpture of a whale tail has saved a tram from falling to the ground after it crashed through a barrier at the end of the track in the Netherlands.

In a remarkably lucky fluke, the train was left suspended in mid-air after it hurtled through the barrier at De Akkers metro station near Rotterdam, supported only by the 30ft tall whale tail sculpture.

The train operator was the only person onboard at the time of the incident, which reports suggest occurred shortly after midnight on November 2nd.

Escaping the carriage unharmed, the driver sustained no major injuries. Following precautionary check-ups at hospital, the Rotterdam transport operator (RET) confirmed that he was "doing well under the circumstances."

An investigation is now underway to understand the cause of the unlikely incident.

The sculpture, made from reinforced plastic, was very aptly named Saved by the Whale's Tail within hours of the incident, bringing a whole new level of significance to the original artwork.

Maarten Strulis, artist of the now famous whale tail sculpture, said of the extraordinary events, "I am amazed that it is so strong. It has been there for almost 20 years.

"You actually expect the plastic to pulverise a bit, but that is apparently not the case."

Speaking to the Times, photographer Joey Bremer said of the incident, "I stood there full of disbelief. You can't make this up."

Feature Image Credit: Wikimedia.com

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AUTHOR: Lily Holbrook
MA Media & Journalism student at Newcastle University and science sub-editor for the 20/21 academic year.

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