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GREAT BELT BRIDGE

Six dead in train crash on Denmark’s Great Belt Fixed Link

Six people were killed in a rail accident in windy conditions on the Great Belt Bridge between Zealand and Funen early on Wednesday.

Six dead in train crash on Denmark’s Great Belt Fixed Link
Photo: Michael Bager/Ritzau Scanpix

Initial reports had stated eight minor injuries to have resulted from a train braking sharply after hitting an object at 7:30am.

Funen Police later confirmed six deaths and 16 injuries resulting from the accident.

There were 131 passengers and three members of staff on board the train involved in the accident according to reports.

A Funen Police spokesman told reporters that “an object hit the train” but was unable to provide further detail.

“There was a loud crash and the windows started smashing onto our heads. We flew down onto the floor, and then the train stopped,” passenger Heidi Langberg Zumbusch told DR

An accident centre has been opened in the nearby town of Nyborg on the Funen side of the bridge, where people who were on board the train can receive help.

“Police have established an evacuation centre in Nyborg for passengers from the train. That is located at Nyborg Idrætscenter [Sports Centre, ed.], Storebæltsvej 13-14. There will not be access for relatives. There will be a psychological and social team present to receive and assist passengers,” Funen Police wrote in an earlier press statement.

A special telephone number, 96 97 00 00, has been provided for relatives to contact police.

Police also advised all passengers who were on board the train to contact loved ones to let them know they are safe.

Road traffic on the eastbound side of the bridge is now moving again at restricted speeds, Funen Police wrote.

“We encourage motorists to respect this serious accident by not taking photos or driving slowly past the scene of the accident,” police wrote in a statement.

Rail operator DSB tweeted that it was working to provide rail replacement buses for passengers whose journeys have been disrupted by the accident.

The Great Belt fixed link consists of a road suspension bridge and a railway tunnel between Zealand and the small island of Sprogø, and a bridge for both road and rail traffic between Sprogø and Funen.

GREAT BELT BRIDGE

Car drivers overcharged for crossing Denmark’s Great Belt Bridge

Drivers of small cars may have overpaid in tolls when crossing the Great Belt Bridge. The bridge's toll operator has urged customers to check billing information.

Car drivers overcharged for crossing Denmark's Great Belt Bridge
Photo: Ida Guldbæk Arentsen/Ritzau Scanpix

Operating company Sund & Bælt has encouraged customers to get in touch if they have paid too much to cross the bridge, which connects Zealand with Funen.

The problem, first reported by Fyens Stiftstidende, stems from number plate recognition or used of the BroBizz payment tag.

Payment equipment has in some cases incorrectly registered the size of some vehicles using these payment forms.

The issue first began occurring in December following the replacement of parts in the toll booths.

“We started in September and were finished close to a week before Christmas, changing the entire motor in the payment machine,” operations manager Palle Nygaard told Fyens.

“So there have clearly been a few teething problems, and one of those is that we not have classified (vehicles) quite as well as usual,” he added.

The exact number of incorrect classifications was unclear, but “a couple of percent each day out of 35,000 ends up being a fair few”, Nygaard said.

The Sund & Bælt operations manager told DR that “particularly, customers with very small cars have been charged a higher price than they are used to”.

A single journey in a private car of up to 3 metres in length should cost a toll of 130 kroner, while the toll for a car of 3-6 metres’ length is 245 kroner.

Customers who think they may have been overcharged can check the invoices or receipts they receive, for example via email for BroBizz users.

These will show the category for which tolls were charged.

“You should contact customer service (for a refund) if you find you have paid a different amount than you are used to,” Nygaard told DR.

“If you pay by card (at the bridge) and see that the price is wrong, you can press ‘help’ and get the problem fixed,” he added.

The company expects to fix the issue during the first quarter of 2020.

READ ALSO: New laws: Here's what changes in Denmark in 2020

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