Oddly Enough

Train stunt kills engineer

An engine driver climbs out of a locomotive at the 'Bahnhof Alte Suederelbe' cargo centre of the harbour in Hamburg, Germany, November 8, 2007. REUTERS/Christian Charisius

BUCHAREST (Reuters) - A Romanian train driver leapt aboard a runaway engine to stop it after having left the brake off in a station but was killed when the stunt backfired, railway police said Wednesday.

Ioan Colceriu, 55, was at a train station in the central town of Odorheiu Secuiesc, when he realized he had forgotten some papers in the station office. He went to fetch them but forgot to put the hand brake on the engine.

When the engine moved off without him, the driver flagged down a taxi and chased it for six km (3.7 miles) before catching up with it. He jumped aboard the moving engine but slipped and fell under its wheels, railway police said.

The engine traveled another 26 km until it was stopped by rail workers. “If you panic, you pay with your life,” railway police officer Constantin Nut told Reuters.

Reporting by Marius Zaharia; Editing by Peter Millership