Cleaning Woman Steals Train, Crashes It Into House

Seems like she could have used a pair of train-ing wheels.

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Jonas Ekstromer / Scanpix Sweden / Reuters

Police officers stand around a local train that derailed and crashed into a residential building in Saltsjobaden outside Stockholm, Sweden, Jan. 15, 2013.

It’s pretty much goes without saying that you probably shouldn’t steal something you don’t know how to drive. A Swedish cleaning woman found herself a bit over her skill level when she decided to make off with the hulking mass of steel she was polishing – a Stockholm commuter train.

Her joyride didn’t turn out so well. The early-morning trip ended when the train jumped the rails and crashed into a three-story luxury apartment building in the Stockholm suburb of Saltsjöbanan, a Baltic seaside town 11 miles southeast of the Swedish capital. The unauthorized driver was seriously injured in the crash and airlifted to a nearby hospital. The three families inside the building weren’t hurt – “at least not physically,” Tomas Hedenius, spokesman for train operator Arriva, added.

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The unnamed woman allegedly made off with the four-car train around 3 a.m. while cleaning it at the Neglinge train station, two stops from the end of the line at Saltsjöbaden. The mile-long ride went as smoothly as the novice driver could manage, but stopping was clearly not her strong suit: the train went off the end of the line and slammed into the apartment complex about 90 feet past the end of the tracks.

The woman wasn’t a licensed train driver, nor did she even work for the Saltsjöbanan rail company. She was employed by an outside contractor hired to clean the trains. Arriva, the train operator, is currently investigating how she could have obtained the keys to the train. The woman, in her early 20s according to Hedenius, was charged with endangering the public.

While NewsFeed doesn’t pretend to know how to drive a train, Hedenius alluded to the fact that it isn’t actually that difficult: “You can read about it on the Internet, or observe how others do it,” he told the Associated Press. Still, we wouldn’t recommend trying it on your own.

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