ABW to probe recent railway incidents in Poland says security official
Poland's Internal Security Agency (ABW), the police and rail companies have launched an investigation into a series of recent incidents on Polish railways, a senior security official has said.
On Saturday, Polish State Railways (PKP) reported that during the night an unauthorised radio-stop signal was sent to trains in the north-western Zachodniopomorskie province. PKP stated that all passengers were safe but several trains had been delayed.
Earlier in the week, a freight train and regional passenger train were involved in a minor collision, and an inter-city train was de-railed in the north-east of Poland.
Speaking on Saturday, Stanislaw Zaryn, the deputy coordinator of the intelligence services, announced that the ABW was now involved, raising the possibility that sabotage might be the cause of the incidents.
"At this moment, we are not ruling out any scenarios," he said.
"We know that attempts to destabilise the Polish state have been going on for months," he said. "Such attempts were being carried out by the Russian Federation in cooperation with Belarus, and for this reason we are not underestimating any signals that reach the ABW."
He said that the incidents had posed no threat to public safety, and that now rail traffic was running normally.
The involvement of the ABW comes a day after Zaryn asked it to look into an outbreak of Legionnaires disease in the south-eastern city of Rzeszow that has so far claimed eight lives.
This year the ABW also arrested members of an alleged Russian spy-ring that was apparently tasked with carrying out acts of sabotage on Polish railways in order to disrupt the supplies of arms to Ukraine.
On Sunday morning it was announced that another case of unauthorised usage of the radio-stop signal in Zachodniopomorskie took place on Saturday evening on the railway line between Bialogard and Runowo Pomorskie.
The incident with the unauthorised use of the radio-stop signal in the West Pomeranian region was confirmed to Polish Radio Szczecin on Sunday by the spokesperson of PKP Polish State Railways Karol Jakubowski.
"The incident happened yesterday evening on the railway line between Bialogard and Runowo Pomorskie. One freight train was halted. Passenger trains were not affected by this event. There was no threat. After checking the situation on the adjoining network, train traffic was restored. The incident is being investigated by the relevant services," Jakubowski said.
Radio RMF FM was the first to announce this new incident on the railway relating to unauthorised broadcasting of the radio-stop signal. The radio station reported that on Saturday at around 19.40 a signal was received by the driver of a freight train on the Swidwin-Worowo route and the traffic controller at the Runowo Pomorskie railway station in the Zachodniopomorskie region. After it was confirmed that the situation presented no danger, after about a minute, with the consent of the rail-traffic controller, the train continued on its route.
The station also reported that the radio-stop signal was used by an unknown person in Pomorskie. Three long-distance passenger trains were stopped there. "When the lack of any danger was verified, after seven minutes the trains continued on their journey," Radio RMF FM reported.
Later on Sunday further incidents were reported to have taken place on Sunday morning in Podlasie, northeastern Poland.
In Podlasie, an unauthorized radio-stop signal was sent for the first time on Sunday around 7 am near Lapy station in Bialystok County. Five passenger and one freight trains were stopped. Traffic resumed after a few minutes, when it turned out that there was no threat.
"The next two stops took place shortly before noon on the Sokolka - Szepietowo route. Four passenger and three freight trains stopped. Delays lasted only a few minutes before the trains resumed their routes," Polish State Railways spokeswoman Magdalena Janus told PAP.