After the collision of two freight trains in the Lower Saxony district of Gifhorn, travelers must expect train cancellations and delays at least until Sunday evening.

A spokeswoman for Deutsche Bahn said on Friday that the section of track was completely closed and the trains would be diverted. According to a spokesman for the federal police, explosive propane gas continued to escape from two tank wagons. Before the salvage, the wagons would have to be empty, he said: “Every spark there can lead to a disaster.”

The spokesman explained that 50 tons of gas were loaded per tank car – it can be assumed that around 250 kilograms escaped every hour. The situation at the scene of the accident is unchanged. The other cars of the two trains of private railway companies have not yet been recovered. The scene of the accident was cordoned off and secured during the night.

More train cancellations and delays

In view of the route closure, travelers must continue to expect train cancellations and delays. Among other things, the busy route between North Rhine-Westphalia and Berlin is affected. Also affected are ICE trains from Switzerland via Frankfurt and Kassel to Berlin. According to Deutsche Bahn, the IC connections between Amsterdam and Berlin only go as far as Hanover and also start there in the opposite direction. Trains that travel from Hamm and M√ľnster via Hanover to Berlin are also affected. Travelers should find out about their connections before embarking on their journey.

Early on Thursday morning, a freight train stopped at a signal near Leiferde, and a following freight train drove onto the train for reasons that were initially unclear. Four wagons overturned in the collision, and the overhead line was also damaged. The approaching train consisted of 25 tank wagons filled with propane gas. After the accident, the driver of the approaching train was injured and taken to the hospital. The driver of the second train was reportedly unharmed apart from a slight shock.

A consultation – for example with experts from the Marl plant fire brigade – was planned for Friday morning on how to proceed, as the spokesman for the federal police said. In addition to the specialists from the chemical park in the Ruhr area, experts from the Federal Office for Railway Accident Investigation examined the scene of the accident. Despite the escaping gas, there was no danger to the population – the scene of the accident is in a wooded area.