Whale Sculpture Averts Rail Disaster

Whale sculpture upholds train wreck in Netherlands.

In a bizarrely serendipitous turn of events, the life of an operator was spared when the front carriage of the metro train he was driving crashed through barriers at the end of an elevated section of track and came to rest atop one of a pair of large sculptures depicting the “flukes,” or tail fins, of whales.

Maarten Struijs, who designed the sculpture, was pleasantly surprised that his artistic creation was up to the task of bearing the train’s weight and thus, in all probability, sparing the driver’s life.

“I’m surprised it’s so strong,” he said. “If plastic has been standing for 20 years, you don’t expect it to hold a metro carriage.”

The driver managed to escape safely from the accident, which occurred near Rotterdam, in the Netherlands, early on Monday morning, and there were no passengers on the train at the time, according to the company that operates the metro line. On Tuesday, workers using a crane succeeded in lowering the damaged rail carriage from its precarious perch.