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Czech Republic: train crash closes rail line east of Prague

PRAGUE, Czech Republic – A high-speed train collided with a truck Wednesday in the eastern Czech Republic, leaving two passengers dead and 13 injured, officials said.


The crash occurred at a rail crossing in the eastern town of Studenka at 7:43 a.m. as the train was travelling from Bohumin to the western spa of Frantiskovy Lazne, said Martin Drapal, a spokesman for the rail inspection agency.


Three of the 13 injured are in life-threatening condition but the truck driver escaped unharmed, said Lukas Humpl, a spokesman for the rescuers.


The major rail line that links Prague with the eastern part of the country has been closed for an unspecified time due to the crash.


Members of the Czech government were travelling by train at the same time in the opposite direction for a meeting in the eastern city of Ostrava. Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, who visited the crash site with other officials, called it “a serious, tragic accident” and offered his condolences to the victims’ relatives.


Interior Minister Milan Chovanec said the truck driver had been detained.