A German bus driver is being called a hero after saving the lives of 60 school kids seconds before a collision with a speeding train.
“That lady prevented the worst from happening through her quick action,” said police spokesman Rainer Bohmbach. “It would’ve been much worse if the … driver hadn’t been so quick-witted.”
The dramatic scene happened in Buxtehude, on the outskirts of Hamburg, the Local reported.
According to a police spokesperson, the woman, 23, had to divert her route due to road work. The detour led her and the 60 children aboard through town and across railroad tracks.
At the worst possible moment — just as they were poised across the tracks — the vehicle stalled. A check after the incident suggested that its connecting joint had jammed when it made a hard right at the crossing, Deutsche Welle added.
Then, the bus wouldn’t restart. That’s when she had to do some swift thinking.
She had to save the kids, so immediately started evacuating everyone on board. She saved herself last and tried to call the railroad operator, but it was too late, ABC News added.
The operator had tried to stop using the emergency brake, but to no avail. Sixty seconds after the group was saved, a commuter locomotive slammed into the front end of the driver’s side while students watched. One of them filmed the dramatic accident on his phone.
The German locomotive was a double-decker on its way to a town called Cuxhaven from Hamburg. It also sustained serious damage. As for the kids — after they were saved, they still had to go to school. A replacement bus picked them up.
A 15-year-old named Marvin filmed the scene on his cell phone after he and his classmates were taken to safety — the video was removed from YouTube. Before the collision, he said one student yelled “Oh god, a train is coming!”
Soon afterward, the barrier, meant to warn other cars not to cross, went down.
“Everyone screamed, all had shaking legs.”
One passenger on the train suffered minor injuries. The total cost of the damage resulting from the crash — a cool $300,000.
Private German company Metronom operates the rail in the northern part of the country; 95,000 passengers are transported every day. As the Inquisitr previously reported, a crash in Houston claimed the lives of two students after a car struck a school bus, sending it careening off the road.
[Photo Courtesy Jane Rix / Shutterstock]