Three conscripts and one rail passenger died and several others were injured as a passenger train collided with a military off-road lorry at a level crossing in Raasepori, Southern Finland, at approximately 8am on Thursday.
The lorry was transporting personnel to a training area during a military exercise at the time of the collision, according to the Western Uusimaa Police Department.
Helsingin Sanomat has reported that a total of eleven people sustained injuries in the collision. Four of them are currently in stable condition after being rushed, with serious injuries, to Töölö Hospital in Helsinki. The remaining seven, in turn, have been discharged after being treated for minor injuries at Raasepori Hospital.
Ilkka Kantola, the inspector in charge of the pre-trial investigation at the Western Uusimaa Police Department, told the newspaper that the conscript driving the off-road lorry is suspected of “at least” causing a traffic hazard, negligent homicide and negligent bodily injury.
Weather conditions at the time of the collision were difficult, with the first responders being met with heavy snow and strong winds, according to Kantola.
Several leading policy makers expressed their condolences to the families and loved ones of the victims on Thursday.
“The young conscripts were serving their country. It is tragic that their journey ended in many fatalities and many injured. I extend my sincere condolences to the families of the victims,” stated President Sauli Niinistö.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Markku Ulander – Lehtikuva