A metro train in the outskirts of Dutch port city of Rotterdam was left hanging on a tail of a whale sculpture after it overshot the barrier at the end of the track on early Monday. Pictures and videos of the train balancing on the tail about 10 meters (32 feet) above the ground went viral on social media.
The accident happened at the De Akkers metro station at about 12.30 AM on Monday. There were no passengers on board at the time of the incident and the metro driver reportedly escaped unhurt out of the train. It remained unclear how the train overran the barrier and ended on the whale sculpture's tail.
The sculpture lived up to its name 'Saved by a Whale's Tail' because the front coach would have plunged into the water body below where the two sculptures jutted out in the air. The artwork was installed in 2002 by the De Akkers station in Spijkenisse outside of Rotterdam in South Holland province. The artwork reportedly made of reinforced polyester. Maarten Struijs, the creator of the sculpture said he was amazed at the art work's strength.
"I could never have imagined it that way, but it saved the operator's life. The damage is an afterthought. I am amazed that it is so strong. When the plastic has stood for 20 years, you don't expect it to hold up a metro train," Struijs said.
The accident prompted cancellation of metro services between Hoogvliet and Spijkenisse. Local authorities said it would take time to remove the train from the whale sculpture's tail.
"Given the complexity, this will take some time," a spokesman for the Rotterdam-Rijnmond safety region reportedly said. "It will be quite an exercise to get that thing off and get it safe."
Authorities launched an investigation to understand the circumstances of the accident. Local media reported that the metro driver was apprehended for interrogation. However, this was reported to a standard police procedure.