Tram runs off track, lands on whale statue's tail

An elevated tram ran past the end of its tracks in Rotterdam on Monday, but instead of plunging 10 meters to the ground from a pier it came to rest delicately on top of a statue of a whale's tail.

The conductor emerged shocked but unharmed and there were no passengers on board. The statue, coincidentally entitled "Saved by a Whale's Tale", had not been intended to actually save a train.

"Of course it does look rather poetic," artist and architect Maarten Struijs was quoted as saying by the Algemeen Dagblad newspaper. "But it's really lucky that the tail can bear the weight of the train."

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Tram runs off track in Rotterdam
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Tram runs off track in Rotterdam
The whale's tail of a sculpture caught the front carriage of a metro train as it rammed through the end of an elevated section of rails with the driver escaping injuries in Spijkenisse, near Rotterdam, Netherlands, Monday, Nov. 2, 2020. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
The whale's tail of a sculpture caught the front carriage of a metro train as it rammed through the end of an elevated section of rails with the driver escaping injuries in Spijkenisse, near Rotterdam, Netherlands, Monday, Nov. 2, 2020. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
The whale's tail of a sculpture caught the front carriage of a metro train as it rammed through the end of an elevated section of rails with the driver escaping injuries in Spijkenisse, near Rotterdam, Netherlands, Monday, Nov. 2, 2020. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
The whale's tail of a sculpture caught the front carriage of a metro train as it rammed through the end of an elevated section of rails with the driver escaping injuries in Spijkenisse, near Rotterdam, Netherlands, Monday, Nov. 2, 2020. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
The whale's tail of a sculpture caught the front carriage of a metro train as it rammed through the end of an elevated section of rails with the driver escaping injuries in Spijkenisse, near Rotterdam, Netherlands, Monday, Nov. 2, 2020. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
The whale's tail of a sculpture caught the front carriage of a metro train as it rammed through the end of an elevated section of rails with the driver escaping injuries in Spijkenisse, near Rotterdam, Netherlands, Monday, Nov. 2, 2020. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
The whale's tail of a sculpture caught the front carriage of a metro train as it rammed through the end of an elevated section of rails with the driver escaping injuries in Spijkenisse, near Rotterdam, Netherlands, Monday, Nov. 2, 2020. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
The whale's tail of a sculpture caught the front carriage of a metro train as it rammed through the end of an elevated section of rails with the driver escaping injuries in Spijkenisse, near Rotterdam, Netherlands, Monday, Nov. 2, 2020. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
An photo taken in Spijkenisse, on November 2, 2020 shows a metro train that shot through a stop block at De Akkers metro station, without making any casualty. (Photo by Robin Utrecht / ANP / AFP) / Netherlands OUT (Photo by ROBIN UTRECHT/ANP/AFP via Getty Images)
An photo taken in Spijkenisse, on November 2, 2020 shows a metro train that shot through a stop block at De Akkers metro station, without making any casualty. - A Dutch metro train was saved from disaster on November 2, 2020, when it smashed through a safety barrier but was prevented from plummeting into water by a sculpture of a whale tail. The driver of the train, who was the only person on board, was unharmed in the incident which happened just after midnight at Spijkenisse, near the port city of Rotterdam. The front carriage was left hanging 10 metres (30 feet) above the water, propped up only by the giant silver-coloured sculpture -- called, improbably, "Saved by the Whale's Tail." (Photo by Jeffrey Groeneweg / ANP / AFP) / Netherlands OUT (Photo by JEFFREY GROENEWEG/ANP/AFP via Getty Images)
An photo taken in Spijkenisse, on November 2, 2020 shows a metro train that shot through a stop block at De Akkers metro station, without making any casualty. (Photo by Robin Utrecht / ANP / AFP) / Netherlands OUT (Photo by ROBIN UTRECHT/ANP/AFP via Getty Images)
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The suspended tram car could be seen by passers-by in the streets below. Amid calls on social media to leave it as a permanent addition to the artwork, Rotterdam Metro and local officials said it would not be safe.

Engineers were studying how the tram car and several others derailed behind it could be safely removed.

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