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Cleaning lady steals train, drives it into house

A Swedish woman stole a local train early on Tuesday morning and derailed it, crashing it into a three family apartment building. New reports suggest the key was left in the ignition.

I live in a town about fifteen minutes from Stockholm, Sweden, and every day when I head into town, I take the Saltsjöbanan railway, which has been making stops in my town since 1893, when it first opened. Delays are common, especially during winter, but when me and many other commuters woke up Tuesday morning, we were faced with a delay we had not yet encountered. A cleaner working for the railway had stolen a train and driven it into a house.

Let's look on the bright side – the house's occupants have a very short walk to their morning commute


The cleaner, a 20 year old woman with a hitherto good employment record, fired up the train at 2.23am and proceeded to fly down the track at 80 km/h (50 mph) before reaching the end station, plowing through the buffer stops and planting herself in a house 50 meters away. The woman is amazingly the only one who was injured, despite the house being home to three families. She is currently in critical but stable condition at the Carolinska university hospital in Stockholm. Authorities still have no clue why the cleaner took the train, though some speculation has arisen that it may have been a suicide attempt. The police is planning to interrogate her as soon as her condition improves, but they have as of yet not spoken with her.


Amazingly, only the cleaner was injured


According to the railway company Arriva, the train rolled into the train depot at Neglinge station, two stops from the terminus at Saltsjöbaden, at 1.45am on Tuesday.  The keys to the train were for some reason left in the ignition and the track between the depot and the main line was open. Forty minutes later, the train was speeding down the track. One suggestion is that the entire incident was an accident. Anders Lindström, CEO for SL (Stockholm's public transport company) says "I'm not excluding anything. It does happen occasionally that a five year old starts a car, after all. That's up to the police investigation to determine" However, the train in question has a security lever which either needs to be pressed down by hand or foot. If you release the lever, the emergency brakes engage within seconds. This makes an accidental train theft less likely.

David F.
A grad student in experimental physics, David is fascinated by science, space and technology. When not buried in lecture books, he enjoys movies, gaming and mountainbiking

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