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Swiss railway worker killed by moving train in Ticino

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Swiss railway worker killed by moving train in Ticino
A bridge on the Gotthard railway line near where the fatal accident occurred. Photo: Tinieder/Depositphotos
10:56 CET+01:00
One Swiss railway worker was killed and another seriously injured after being hit by a train in the Italian-speaking Swiss canton of Ticino.

The fatal accident occurred on the morning of Tuesday February 5th, shortly before 9am, on the transalpine Gotthard railway line near Airolo, in southern Switzerland.

A 40-year-old Swiss federal Railways (SBB) worker who had been undertaking maintenance work on the line died from the impact with the train, while another 39-year-old worker was taken to hospital with serious injuries. 

The Tilo train had been traveling north to Ertsfeld with five passengers on board, according to a statement issued by the Ticino cantonal police. The two workers had been undertaking maintenance on the tracks.

It is unclear where exactly the incident took place –  Swiss daily Le Matin reports near the station of Airolo. 

For reasons yet unknown, the train collided with the two Swiss railway workers before entering the Gotthard Tunnel.

The deceased man lived in the Italian speaking Swiss city of Bellinzona while the second victim of the accident, who was hospitalized by helicopter, was from Locarno, added police.

The train driver and the five passengers onboard did not incur injures, according to a report in local daily Il Giornale del Ticino. 

The police have opened an investigation to establish why train collided with two maintenance workers on the line and where the communication broke down. 

In the meantime, the line has been closed. A replacement bus service between Airolo and Erstfeld is operating. 

"The line will remain closed until further notice to allow rescue operations, clearances as well as the relevant case investigations," added Ticino cantonal police in a statement. 

A South Korean tourist was killed after being hit by a train in the Swiss canton of Schwyz last November. The 69-year-old man was hit by a train between the Rigi Staffel and Rigi Kulm stations on the mountain's cogwheel railway line. Thick fog was cited as a cause of that accident at the time. 

READ MORE: Driver killed in collision with stray horses on Swiss motorway

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