Rescue, military personnel and a policeman gather at the railroad crossing of the crash. Markku Ulander via AP

At least four people dead in train crash in southern Finland

Eight people who were injured have been taken to hospital.

Updated at 9.45am

A TRAIN COLLIDED with a military vehicle at a railroad crossing in southern Finland early this morning, killing at least four people, police and military officials said.

The crash in Raseborg, about 85 kilometres southwest of Helsinki, also left several people injured.

Police said four people were killed, including one train passenger.

A Finnish general said that three soldiers died.

“Today I have received a heartbreaking message: Three conscripts have died in an accident in Raseborg,” General Jarmo Lindberg said in a statement.

The FNB news agency said that eight other people injured in the crash were taken to hospitals in Raseborg and in Helsinki.

Finland’s defense minister, Jussi Niinisto, tweeted that today “had started with grim news” and “I feel grief”.

The military truck was carrying 11 soldiers, who were taking part in a drill in the southern part of the Nordic country. The train struck the vehicle at a crossing near Raseborg by a commuter train from Finland’s state-owned VR railway company.

Finland Train Crash A police officer walks alongside the train that was involved in the crash with a military truck Lehtikuva Lehtikuva

Images from the scene showed a slightly damaged train and the wreck of what appears to be a military vehicle in the woods. The train was standing upright, but it wasn’t immediately clear if it had derailed.

Finnish broadcaster YLE said Niinisto, the defense minister, had ordered flags at all military facilities to fly at half-staff Thursday.

Finnish President Sauli Niinisto expressed his condolences in a statement, calling it an “unfortunate tragedy,” saying the conscripts were taking part in “a task for the motherland.”

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Associated Foreign Press
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