The End of a Supertrain
Ten Years after the Eschede Disaster
Author: Nicola Burfeindt, Alexander Czogalla
At 10.59 in the morning, the Intercity Express ICE 884 'Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen' headed from Munich to Hamburg was derailed just outside the station of Eschede. A failed tyre fitted to one of the wheels caused the worst train catastrophe in the history of the Federal Republic of Germany, taking 101 lives and injuring 105 people, some seriously.
In a 52-minute documentary, SPIEGEL TV authors Nicola Burfeindt and Alexander Czogalla reconstruct a catastrophe which shocked people around the world.
The documentary also features those whose lives were thrown into turmoil on this day in a small town of 4,000 inhabitants which had previously been virtually unknown. Doctors, members of the fire brigade, pastors and paramedics. Joining the survivors and family members, they speak of this day of tragedy and the difficult aftermath, in some cases for the very first time.
The rescue teams also suffered from the sight of the apocalypse: mutilated victims, grieving family members, children’s toys strewn amongst the wreckage - vivid images which tormented them in their dreams at night. The honorary Red Cross helper who spent days collecting parts of dead bodies, the rescue assistant who found a gravely injured woman and her dead child - they all suffer from the burden of their horrific memories, which they can frequently only bear with professional psychological help.
'The film-makers approach the subject with restraint.
A remarkable documentary.' ('Die Welt')
year of production: 2008