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Update: 12 injured after train and truck collide near Hamburg

Several people were injured on Wednesday morning after a regional train collided with a truck near Rendsburg in the north German state of Schleswig-Holstein.

Update: 12 injured after train and truck collide near Hamburg
The lorry after the collision with a train on Wednesday. Photo: DPA

The crash happend at around 4:30am at a level crossing in Alt Duvenstedt, between Hamburg and Flensburg. The regional train, which was carrying 22 passengers, was derailed in the crash.

Eight people were injured, two of them seriously, police said. At first it was believed nearly all passengers had been hurt in the crash. 

One of the injured was flown by helicopter to hospital in the port city of Kiel.

The accident happened when the cab of the articulated lorry, towing 70 tonnes of heavy equipment, became stranded at the level crossing. The driver jumped clear before the crash, police told news agency DPA.

Police said it was unclear why the truck became stuck at the crossing.

The impact badly damaged the front of the train, which was lifted off the tracks.

Rail travel between Flensburg and Hamburg is expected to be severely disrupted for most of Wednesday, police said, because of damage to overhead lines and the tracks.

“A special train from (national rail operator) Deutsche Bahn is coming to get the train that crashed back on the rails,” a police spokesman told daily Bild.

“But the track where the accident happened will remain closed for hours because the rail bed has been affected.”

The clean-up was continuing later on Wednesday morning as the pictures show.

Rescue workers inspect the scene on Wednesday. Photo: DPA

100 rescue workers at scene

A large contingent of rescue workers was initially deployed after the alarm was raised. Around 100 emergency service were on site to assist, authorities said.

Ambulances and a rescue helicopter transported those who'd been injured to clinics in the area.

People travelling in the region today have been warned they could expect disruption and delays.

Regional trains from Hamburg can only travel as far as Rendsburg, according to a railway spokeswoman. In the opposite direction, trains will end in Owschlag. The east-west connection between Husum and Kiel is also affected.

Investigations into the cause of the crash continue.

Last October, several people were injured in a similar accident between a regional train and an articulated lorry in Sipplingen, near Lake Constance, southern Germany.

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IN IMAGES: Spain’s ‘scrap cathedral’ lives on after creator’s death

For over 60 years, former monk Justo Gallego almost single-handedly built a cathedral out of scrap materials on the outskirts of Madrid. Here is a picture-based ode to his remarkable labour of love.

IN IMAGES: Spain's 'scrap cathedral' lives on after creator's death
File photo taken on August 3, 1999 shows Justo Gallego Martinez, then 73, posing in front of his cathedral. Photo: ERIC CABANIS / AFP

The 96-year-old died over the weekend, but left the unfinished complex in Mejorada del Campo to a charity run by a priest that has vowed to complete his labour of love.

Gallego began the project in 1961 when he was in his mid-30s on land inherited from his family after a bout of tuberculosis forced him to leave an order of Trappist monks.

Today, the “Cathedral of Justo” features a crypt, two cloisters and 12 towers spread over 4,700 square metres (50,600 square feet), although the central dome still does not have a cover.

He used bricks, wood and other material scavenged from old building sites, as well as through donations that began to arrive once the project became better known.

A woman prays at the Cathedral of Justo on November 26, 2021. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)
A woman prays at the Cathedral of Justo on November 26, 2021. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)
 

The building’s pillars are made from stacked oil drums while windows have been cobbled and glued together from shards of coloured glass.

“Recycling is fashionable now, but he used it 60 years ago when nobody talked about it,” said Juan Carlos Arroyo, an engineer and architect with engineering firm Calter.

Men work at the Cathedral of Justo on November 26, 2021 in Mejorada del Campo, 20km east of Madrid.
Men work at the Cathedral of Justo on November 26, 2021 in Mejorada del Campo, 20km east of Madrid. Photo: (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)

The charity that is taking over the project, “Messengers of Peace”, hired the firm to assess the structural soundness of the building, which lacks a permit.

No blueprint

“The structure has withstood significant weather events throughout its construction,” Arroyo told AFP, predicting it will only need some “small surgical interventions”.

Renowned British architect Norman Foster visited the site in 2009 — when he came to Spain to collect a prize — telling Gallego that he should be the one getting the award, Arroyo added.

Religious murals on a walls of Justo's cathedral. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)
Religious murals on a walls of Justo’s cathedral. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)
 

The sturdiness of the project is surprising given that Gallego had no formal training as a builder, and he worked without a blueprint.

In interviews, he repeatedly said that the details for the cathedral were “in his head” and “it all comes from above”.

Builders work on the dome of the Cathedral of Justo on November 26th. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)
Builders work on the dome of the Cathedral of Justo on November 26th. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)
 

The complex stands in a street called Avenida Antoni Gaudi, named after the architect behind Barcelona’s iconic Sagrada Familia basilica which has been under construction since 1883.

But unlike the Sagrada Familia, the Cathedral of Justo Gallego as it is known is not recognised by the Roman Catholic Church as a place of worship.

Visit gaze at the stained glass and busts in of the cathedral's completed sections. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)
Visit gaze at the stained glass and busts in of the cathedral’s completed sections. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)
 

‘Worth visiting’

Father Angel Garcia Rodriguez, the maverick priest who heads Messengers of Peace, wants to turn Gallego’s building into an inclusive space for all faiths and one that is used to help the poor.

“There are already too many cathedrals and too many churches, that sometimes lack people,” he said.

“It will not be a typical cathedral, but a social centre where people can come to pray or if they are facing difficulties,” he added.

A photo of Justo Gallego Martinez on display at his cathedral following his passing. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)
A photo of Justo Gallego Martinez on display at his cathedral following his passing. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)
 

Father Angel is famous in Spain for running a restaurant offering meals to the homeless and for running a church in central Madrid where pets are welcome and the faithful can confess via iPad.

Inside the Cathedral of Justo, volunteers continued working on the structure while a steady stream of visitors walked around the grounds admiring the building in the nondescript suburb.

“If the means are put in, especially materials and money, to finish it, then it will be a very beautiful place of worship,” said Ramon Calvo, 74, who was visiting the grounds with friends.

FIND OUT MORE: How to get to Justo’s Cathedral and more amazing images

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