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INFOLINE801 77 29 29

Explanations concerning the tragic accident in Dąbrowa Górnicza

1. Undoubtedly, the poor condition of the footbridge was the direct cause of the accident.

2. The overhead traction in Poland operates at 3 kV (3,000 volt) DC to supply electric locomotives and trains.

3. A human cannot survive direct contact with 3,000 volts.

4. Footbridges are secured against unauthorised contact with overhead the traction by a number of measures. One of these measures is applied in the form of buffers, preventing reduction in the distance between the overhead traction and the footbridge.

5. In case any obstacle occurs on the overhead traction, the system automatically signals interference and immediately switches the voltage off. After a while, in the absence of intervention by a (human) dispatcher, the system automatically checks the line and switches the voltage on.

On July 7th, the remote control system associated with the overhead traction signalled interference in the traction at the station Dąbrowa Górnicza Strzemieszyce between 21:04 and 21:06 . The voltage was switched off. As of that time, the cause was unknown, and the dispatcher of PKP Energetyka S.A. suspected the theft of an overhead traction section, which is notorious in that area.

At 21:08, the dispatcher of PKP Energetyka received a notification over the phone from the Traffic Control of PKP PLK on a probable theft attempt and decided to switch the voltage off at the station Dąbrowa Górnicza Strzemieszyce. The overhead traction voltage at the station was switched off at 21:12, i.e. 8 minutes after the first signal.

At 21:36, the officers of Railway Guard (SOK) and the police notified the dispatcher of PKP Energetyka about a person found on the footbridge who suffered electric shock.
An electric power emergency patrol left Katowice at 21:37, and their employees assisted SOK and police officers in the investigation. The emergency patrol arrived at the scene at 22:00.

6. The overhead traction at the station Dąbrowa Górnicza – Strzemieszyce is inspected on an on-going basis. No inspection indicated any defects.

7. Any suggestion that PKP Energetyka S.A. is in any way culpable for this accident or “improper” aid to the victim is not true and harms the company’s reputation.


Last modified: 2/29/2016