A 21-year-old man has been killed after his vehicle was run over by a freight train as he attempted to cross the railway, in a deadly accident potentially caused by malfunctioning traffic signals in the Flemish town of Aarschot, to the north of Leuven.
The two other passengers of the vehicle, an 18-year-old woman and a 21-year-old man, were released from the constricted vehicle by an emergency response team and sustained light injuries, according to Het Nieuwsblad.
First respondents had to cut open the vehicle to release its trapped occupants, but the body of the driver was pulled, lifeless, from the car.
The car, a Volkswagen Polo, was dragged over 200 metres when it collided with the train where the railway meets Aarschot’s Winterstraat.
Leuven’s prosecutor’s office is investigating the incident, after some witness accounts suggested that the traffic signals did not work properly.
According to a witness, the barriers were not lowered as the train was approaching, an account which confirms the findings of a rail traffic expert upon his arrival at the site, according to the Dutch-language news site.