Whale sculpture catches crashed Dutch metro train

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Image copyright Getty Images

A train driver in the Netherlands has had a lucky escape thanks to a fortuitously placed art installation.

A metro train in Spijkenisse, near the city of Rotterdam, crashed through a barrier at the end of the tracks shortly before midnight on Sunday.

But rather than plummeting 10m (32ft) into the water below, the train was left suspended dramatically in the air.

It ended up being delicately balanced on the large sculpture of a whale's tail at the De Akkers metro station.

"We are trying to decide how we can bring the train down in a careful and controlled manner," one official told the Dutch national broadcaster NOS on Monday.

Image copyright Getty Images

The driver, who has not been named, was able to leave the empty train by himself. He was taken to hospital for a check-up and is not believed to have suffered any injuries.

The sculpture, titled Whale Tails, is the work of the architect and artist Maarten Struijs, and was erected in the water at the end of the tracks in 2002.

Mr Struijs told NOS that he was surprised the structure did not break.

"It has been there for almost 20 years and... you actually expect the plastic to pulverise a bit, but that is apparently not the case," he said.

"I'll make sure that I get a few photos," he added. "I could never have imagined it that way."

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