Metro safe, but more inspections needed

The National Rail Authority declares Copenhagen's underground safe, but a deeper investigation is required

Pools of water under rails and non-standard repairs are not safety hazards, the nation's transport safety watchdog concluded in its review of the Metro.

The review, released Thursday, was called for by the minister of transport, Flemming Hansen, after daily newspaper Ekstra Bladet earlier this month revealed a number of possible safety violations.

Metro technicians told Ekstra Bladet at the time of the exposé they feared it was only a matter of time before an accident occurred.

The National Rail Authority report, however, found the Metro safe. Though it did state that problems such as water dripping into rail tunnels and a flattened soda can used to support a cable were grounds for a thorough check of the system.

'We've seen some things that we weren't aware of, and which are not in accordance with our standards and regulations,' said Leif Funch, acting head of the authority. 'So we intend to carry out a special inspection to make sure that everything is as it should be.'

Metro, according to the Rail Authority, altered safety systems without the approval of the Rail Authority. It also sowed doubt on the training of safety technicians.

The failure to report the changes 'could be a sign that not everyone in the organisation has a full appreciation for rail safety', the report stated.

The report also criticised Metro for the amount of time it took to address the problems identified in the exposé.

Metro officials said they were pleased with the overall conclusion of the report, and promised to correct any deficiencies.

'The most important thing is that passengers feel safe, so we are happy about the extra inspection. It's also a relief for us as well,' said Anne-Grethe Foss, vice president of the organisation responsible for the Metro.

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