Around two and a half years after the fatal train accident in Auggen (Breisgau-Hochschwarzwald district), the Freiburg public prosecutor issued penal orders against 14 suspects.
They are accused of negligent homicide, negligent bodily harm and negligent intervention in rail traffic and endangering construction, in part through omission.
In the train accident in April 2020, a 140-ton concrete slab fell from a bridge onto the tracks of the Rhine Valley Railway between Freiburg and Basel. A Swiss freight train carrying trucks and their drivers collided with the concrete slab and partially derailed. The 51-year-old train driver died at the scene of the accident. Three of the ten truck drivers on board were injured. Several media had previously reported on the penal orders.
In the course of the expansion of the Rhine Valley railway line, the bridge had to be dismantled. The public prosecutor sees it as proven that a combination of various breaches of duty of care led to the fall of the concrete slab. The reconstruction of the railway line had taken about a week. Meanwhile, the Rhine Valley route was completely closed to rail traffic. According to the public prosecutor’s office, the resulting damage is almost 5.5 million euros.
The 14 accused are between 29 and 96 years old. The public prosecutor’s office has applied for prison sentences of between six and eight months on probation against eight of them, and fines of between 9,000 and 13,500 euros for the other six.