Train accident in central Switzerland lightly injures 33

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A locomotive slammed into a five-carriage train at a station in the Swiss Alps in central Switzerland on Monday, lightly injuring 33 people on board but with no fatalities or life-threatening injuries, according to police.

The accident happened at around 11:30 a.m. at the main station of Andermatt, a small town in the central Swiss canton of Uri, when around 100 passengers, mostly schoolchildren, were on board. Twenty-five of those injured had been taken to hospital, but most were quickly released.

One child was being kept in hospital overnight with a suspected concussion.

The locomotive, then at a speed of only 15 to 20 km per hour, was supposed to move from the back of the five-carriage train to the front on a parallel track, but instead drove into the convoy it had just detached from, according to a spokesperson from the Matterhorn-Gotthard-Bahn, the rail company operating the rail line.

Fortunately the slamming appeared to have done very little material damage, and local police said there were neither fatalities nor life-threatening injuries. A local TV staff member also described the accident as nothing serious, as there appeared to be no structural damage to the train at all.

However, three rescue helicopters and around a dozen ambulances were sent to the scene, local media reported, adding that police and Swiss transportation have opened an investigation into the accident.

Andermatt, a historic ski town on the world-famous Matterhorn railway line near the crossroads of several Swiss cantons, has been the site of extensive touristic development in recent years. The road between Goschenen and Andermatt, near the north entrance to the Gotthard tunnel, was subsequently closed for much of the afternoon.

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