This Day in History: Zagreb Train accident, the worst rail crash in Croatia

The Zagreb train disaster occurred on August 30, 1974 when an express train (number 10410) traveling from Belgrade to Dortmund derailed before entering Zagreb Main Station killing 153 people. Zagreb accident was the worst rail accident in the country’s history to that date and remains one of the worst in Europe’s history. Many of the passengers died immediately, as many as 41 of whom could not be identified and were buried in a common grave at the Mirogoj Cemetery.

The accident occurred when a passenger express train from all nine cars derailed and rolled over at the entrance to Zagreb’s main train station, at 719 meters from the entrance to the track IIa. At 10:33 pm the locomotive on the track IIa station went alone. The driver and assistant remained unharmed, and the locomotive intact. The locomotive is now on display in the Croatian Railway Museum.

A subsequent investigation into the accident showed that the train at several sites exceeded the speed limit by nearly 70 kilometers per hour, so that instead of entering the station at the speed limit of 40 km/h, the engine driver rushed in with a speed of 104 km/h.  The driver was sentenced to 15 years of jail,  his assistant to 8 years. Source