Storm depression Ignatz held Germany in suspense yesterday, and the foothills of the storm could still be felt in large parts of the republic on Friday morning. More than 50,000 households in the east were without electricity, thousands of rail connections failed. One fatality is to be mourned.
From Max Bergmann
The first major autumn storm of 2021 is nearing its end. The German Weather Service (DWD) announced on Friday that gusts of wind of up to 80km / h could still be expected during the day, but the storm subsided. On Thursday there were numerous road closures, power outages and chaos in rail traffic in Germany. Long-distance traffic by Deutsche Bahn was completely suspended in parts of the country, and regional traffic was also affected. Due to fallen trees, traffic in Saxony-Anhalt was completely suspended until around 3 p.m., in other regions the maximum speed of trains was reduced to 80 km / h – for safety reasons. There were numerous failures and delays.
Engine driver killed by tree in Brandenburg
In the district of Uckermark in the eastern German state of Brandenburg there was a tragic accident with fatal consequences at around 12:50 p.m. A regional train on line RB63 came to an unscheduled stop on its journey from Eberswalde to Templin in the area between Milmersdorf and Templin Ahrensdorf due to larger branches in the track. The driver of the railcar, which is operated by the private railway company Niederbarnimer Eisenbahn, got out to clear the branches. A strong gust of wind caught the 50-year-old, a tree fell and hit the railroad worker with full force. A passenger and the train attendant of the regional train provided first aid and called for rescue workers.
Line shut down and reopened in 2019 by Niederbarnimer Eisenbahn
For years there was no passenger traffic on the mostly single-track branch line in Brandenburg in the section between Joachimsthal and Templin. In January 2019, the 3-year trial operation of the revitalization of the route, initiated by the districts and the local transport association Berlin Brandenburg (VBB), began. The passenger numbers developed positively, but not completely satisfactory for all concerned. Most recently, the city of Eberswalde secured as Financier the temporary continuation of the branch line. As part of the trial operation, the line was extended from Joachimsthal to the nearby Templin, the railway line runs directly past the country seat of the current German Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) in Hohenwalde near Templin.
Difficult topography: the scene of the accident is extremely difficult to access for rescue workers
The scene of the accident in the Uckermark was difficult to access for the rescue workers, the railcar was on the open route between the Milmersdorf and Ahrensdorf stops near Templin. The seriously injured train driver was flown to Berlin for further treatment in a rescue helicopter requested from Angermünde. From circles of the Niederbarnimer Eisenbahn it was already learned on Thursday evening that the driver had succumbed to his serious injuries on the way to Berlin. Colleagues describe him as a thoroughbred railroader who “made everything possible for the railroad and its passengers”. The 50-year-old from Neustrelitz in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania leaves behind a family.