A whopper of a tale? Tram runs off track, lands on whale statue's tail

·1-min read
General view of a metro that crashed through a stop block and landed on an artwork of a whale tail at De Akkers subway station in Spijkenisse
General view of a metro that crashed through a stop block and landed on an artwork of a whale tail at De Akkers subway station in Spijkenisse

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - An elevated tram ran past the end of its tracks in Rotterdam on Monday, but instead of plunging 10 meters to the ground from a pier it came to rest delicately on top of a statue of a whale's tail.

The conductor emerged shocked but unharmed and there were no passengers on board. The statue, coincidentally entitled "Saved by a Whale's Tale", had not been intended to actually save a train.

"Of course it does look rather poetic," artist and architect Maarten Struijs was quoted as saying by the Algemeen Dagblad newspaper. "But it's really lucky that the tail can bear the weight of the train."

The suspended tram car could be seen by passers-by in the streets below. Amid calls on social media to leave it as a permanent addition to the artwork, Rotterdam Metro and local officials said it would not be safe.

Engineers were studying how the tram car and several others derailed behind it could be safely removed.

(Reporting by Toby Sterling; Editing by Giles Elgood)