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Smoke billows from a fire while people evacuate from a train, near Nove Zamky, Slovakia, June 27, 2024. (Katarina Molnarova Perlacosmetic/UGC/Reuters via CNN Newsource)

Deadly train and bus collision in Slovakia

June 28, 2024

By Ivana Kottasová, Duarte Mendonca and Catherine Nicholls, CNN

(CNN) — Seven people were killed and at least five more injured when an international train and a bus collided in southwestern Slovakia on Thursday afternoon, the country’s emergency services said.

The cause of the crash remains unclear and investigation is ongoing, according to the emergency services.

Those who died are believed to have been on the bus. Slovak national railway company ZSSK said on a statement on Facebook that none of the more than 100 passengers on the EuroCity train died as it sent its condolences to “the families and loved ones of the bus passengers who were injured or lost in this accident.”

The emergency response continued into the night at the crash site in Nové Zámky, southern Slovakia, the Slovak Emergency Medical Service said. Five ambulance vehicles and three ambulance helicopters are on the scene.

Reuters footage from the scene showed smoke and fire billowing from a train carriage, with a person in the background heard saying: “There was just a big bang. Then the train stopped. We were able to get off, but the whole front part of the train was burning.”

The train was traveling from the Czech capital of Prague to the Hungarian capital of Budapest. More than 100 of its stranded passengers were transported by buses to the town of Sturovo on the Hungarian border.

The locomotive and the driver of the train belonged to the Czech national railway company, while the carriages and the rest of the train staff were Slovak.

The crash on Thursday was a second deadly collision involving an international train in the region in just three weeks. Four people were killed and more than 20 others injured on June 6 when a passenger train collided with a freight train in Pardubice in the Czech Republic.

“All passengers were evacuated from the scene with the assistance of our staff. Our hearts and thoughts are with the families and loved ones of the bus passengers who suffered injuries or losses in this accident,” ZSSK said in a statement shared with CNN.

Slovak politicians expressed their shock about the incident. “With the deepest sadness, I received the information of a tragic accident that happened late afternoon in Nové Zámky,” Slovak Health Minister Zuzana Dolinková said in a social media post.

“All kinds of emergency services are on the scene and I send my deepest condolences to the families of the victims.”

Slovakia’s President Peter Pellegrini, who was in Brussels attending a summit with European Union leaders, sent his condolences on social media. “I am very sorry for all the victims and my condolences to their families. I wish the injured a speedy recovery and thank the doctors and rescue teams for their work done. I wish such catastrophes would avoid Slovakia in the future,” he wrote.

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