Sweden train crash: Cleared of stealing the locomotive, cleaner now wants to drive one

Firm which blamed her for accident offers her job in the cabin

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The Independent Online

The last time she was at the helm of a speeding train, 22-year-old Sara was left seriously injured and stood accused of stealing the locomotive.

But undeterred by her ordeal, the Swedish cleaner trapped on board a runaway carriage earlier this year has revealed that she now wants to become a train driver.

The woman, named only as Sara in the Swedish press, was cleaning a commuter train at a station in the Stockholm suburbs in January when the first carriage became decoupled and barrelled along the track until it crashed into a block of flats just outside the station.

While Sara – the only person injured in the crash – recovered from multiple fractures and a punctured lung in hospital, a spokesperson from Arriva, the sub-contractor that operated the train, accused her of stealing the train and held her responsible for the accident.

In fact, Sara later told a union magazine that she had done everything in her power to try to stop the train before it did any damage and a preliminary investigation absolved her of all blame and revealed that it was a series of safety breaches that put her life in danger.

Now, the Swedish news website The Local reports, Arriva has offered her a lifetime contract and will train her to become a driver. And Sara showed no signs of apprehension about returning to the cabin, where she had frantically tried to turn the ignition key to stop the train during the January incident.

As the train picked up speed along the tracks, she initially considered jumping out, but instead managed to brace herself against the side of the train before impact.

“If I can survive that, I can survive anything,” she said.

Sara also hopes the results of the official investigation into the cause of the accident will shed some light on why anyone would have suspected her of wanting to steal a train.

While a trade union threatened to sue over the accident, Sara previously said she saw the funny side of the situation.

“They are the ones who have made fools of themselves,” she said.