Eschede train disaster

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The Eschede train disaster was the world's deadliest high-speed train accident. It occurred on 3 June 1998, near the village of Eschede in the Celle district of Lower Saxony, Germany. The toll of 101 dead and 88 injured surpassed the 1971 Dahlerau train disaster as the deadliest accident in the history of the Federal Republic of Germany. It was caused by a single fatigue crack in one wheel which, when it finally failed, caused the train to derail at a switch.


Chronology of events

Wheel fracture

InterCityExpress trainset 51 was travelling as ICE 884 "Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen" on the Munich to Hamburg route; the train was scheduled to stop at Augsburg, Nuremberg, Würzburg, Fulda, Kassel, Göttingen, and Hannover before reaching Hamburg.[1] After stopping in Hannover at 10:30, the train continued its journey northwards. Around 130 kilometres (80 mi) and forty minutes away from Hamburg[1] and six kilometres south of central Eschede, near Celle, the steel tire on a wheel on the third axle of the first car broke, peeled away from the wheel, and punctured the floor of the car, where it remained embedded.

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