Burning German ‘ghost train’ stopped near Austria border

BERLIN (AP) — Authorities in southern Germany say efforts to put out a fire on a train turned into a spectacular chase early Friday after the driverless diesel engine began taking off toward Austria of its own accord.

Firefighters had been called to put out a train blaze near the village of Strass at about 3 a.m. (0200 GMT), the Bavarian Red Cross said. But shortly before they arrived the engine started moving downhill on the sloping track, picking up speed as it rolled several kilometers (miles) toward the town of Freilassing.

A video posted online by the Freilassing Volunteer Firefighting Company showed flames and smoke pouring from the train as it swept through the town.

With firefighters in hot pursuit, railway officials managed to switch the “ghost train” onto a side track near Freilassing station where it was stopped by a buffer before it could cross the border. The fire was extinguished and nobody was injured, the Bavarian Red Cross said in a statement.

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