Fire shuts Oslo-Bergen line

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Around 250 passengers were evacuated from a train running on the popular line between Oslo and Bergen on Thursday, after fire broke out in a structure used to keep snow off the tracks in winter. The train had entered the tunnel-like structure and caught fire as well.

No one was injured in the blaze at Hallingskeid that ultimately destroyed eight carriages, reported Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK). The mountain station also seemed in danger of losing its station building in the blaze, but firefighters reportedly managed to save it.

Reports from the area were sketchy because the fire also damaged one of Telenor’s fiber optic cables, leading to poor mobile phone communications. Firefighting efforts were also hindered by few available crews and poor access to water.

All passengers and crew were evacuated and were being transported on to Voss. The tracks between Voss and Geilo on the Bergen-Oslo line were closed and officials for state railway NSB were uncertain when train service could resume because of heavy damage. Bus service was put into place between Voss and Geilo.

There also was train trouble in the Oslo area Thursday afternoon, after a person was hit and killed by a train at the Lillestrøm station. The accident halted all traffic through the station, including the Airport Express Train (Flytoget) between Oslo and Gardermoen. Passengers were being offered bus service instead.

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