Salvage operation under way to rescue train caught by whale sculpture

The train was left precariously balanced on a whale tail artwork in Rotterdam

A salvage operation is under way to lift a runaway train off a sculpture of a whale’s tail, where it landed after ploughing through the end of an elevated section of track.

The train was left precariously balanced on the whale’s tail sculpture 10 metres above the ground on Monday, after plunging off the end of a metro line in Spijkenisse, a town on the southern edge of Rotterdam.

The train was empty at the time and the driver escaped unhurt, thanks to the whale tail’s unlikely catch.

Onlookers watch the operation
Onlookers watch the operation (Peter Dejong/AP)

Two large yellow cranes are working in tandem, looping a cable around the front of the train as the operation began.

The local security authority said it will probably be lifted off the sculpture in the afternoon. It said the driver was interviewed by police on Monday as part of the investigation into the cause of the crash and allowed to go home.

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