Watch as driverless burning German train speeds towards Austria

Firefighters were called to put out the blaze, but shortly before they arrived the engine started moving downhill on a sloping track

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Authorities in southern Germany say efforts to put out a fire on a train turned into a spectacular chase on Friday after the driverless diesel engine began taking off towards Austria of its own accord.

Firefighters had been called to put out a train blaze near the village of Strass at about 3am, the Bavarian Red Cross said. But shortly before they arrived, the engine started moving downhill on the sloping track, picking up speed as it rolled several kilometres towards the town of Freilassing.

A video posted online by the Freilassing Volunteer Firefighting Company showed flames and smoke pouring from the train as it swept through the town.

With firefighters in hot pursuit, railway officials managed to switch the “ghost train” onto a side track near Freilassing station, where it was stopped by a buffer before it could cross the border.

The fire was extinguished and nobody was injured, the Bavarian Red Cross said.

Updated: January 21, 2023, 11:45 AM