Whale Sculpture Stops Dutch Train from Crashing More Than 30 Feet Off Railway Platform
It’s a whale of a tale involving the tail of a whale — and it likely saved a train conductor’s life.
The front carriage of an elevated metro train slammed past the end of a railway in the Netherlands on Monday, only avoiding a 32-foot drop onto the ground after it became nestled atop an art sculpture featuring the tail fin of a whale, according to reports.
The driver of the train was not injured, and there were no passengers on board when it plowed through stop barriers at the end of the station in the town of Spijkenisse, the Associated Press reported.
The incident occurred near the port city of Rotterdam, and a spokeswoman for the local security authority told the AP that a team of experts was working to get it down safely.
“It’s tricky,” Carly Gorter told the outlet of removing the carriage, which remained suspended above a bike lane on top of the tail fins.
Coincidentally enough, the sculpture, made of reinforced polyester and put up in 2002, is called “Saved by the Whale’s Tail,” according to the Guardian.
“I’m surprised it’s so strong,” Maarten Struijs, the architect who designed the sculpture, reportedly told Dutch broadcaster RTL. “If plastic has been standing for 20 years, you don’t expect it to hold a metro carriage.”
“Of course it does look rather poetic,” Struijs reportedly added to the Algemeen Dagblad newspaper. “But it’s really lucky that the tail can bear the weight of the train.”
An investigation into how the incident occurred is ongoing, according to the AP.