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  1. ITV Report

Six killed and at least 16 injured in train accident on bridge linking Danish islands

Six people have been killed and 16 injured in a train accident on a Danish bridge linking the central islands of Zealand and Funen.

The train was travelling from the city of Odense to Copenhagen, Danish Railways told Denmark's TV2, when the accident happened.

Police spokesman Arne Gram said the passenger train "hit an unknown object" but did not comment further.

Danish media reported a tarpaulin on a freight train hit a passenger train going in the opposite direction toward Copenhagen, prompting it to brake suddenly.

Six people were killed in a train accident on a bridge linking central Denmark's islands. Credit: AP

Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen said: "Ordinary Danes on their way to work or heading home from the Christmas holidays have had their lives smashed."

There were 131 passengers and three employees on board the train when the accident happened.

The Storebaelt bridge is part of a system of bridges and a tunnel linking the Danish islands.

In a statement, police urged passengers to contact next of kin to inform them of their safety.

Shattered window on wrecked train. Credit: AP

Photographs from the scene show the freight train was carrying crates of beer, and the tarpaulin that covered the train was torn in pieces.

Kasper Elbjoern, spokesman for Danish brewery group Carlsberg, confirmed a freight train transporting its cargo was involved in the accident.

Jesper Nielsen, who was on the passenger train, told Denmark's TV2 the train "was out on the bridge when there was a huge 'bang' .... very quickly thereafter, the train braked."

There were 131 passengers and three employees on board the train when the accident happened. Credit: AP

The accident took place on a road-and-rail bridge, part of a transport system consisting of a road suspension bridge and a railway tunnel.

The transport system was closed to cars on Wednesday because of strong winds but trains could pass.