Art | November 2, 2020 1:00 pm

Life Imitates Action Movies as Whale Sculpture Stops Train Wreck in the Netherlands

"It's like the scene of a Hollywood movie."

Whale tail sculpture saves train
A whale tail sculpture stopped a train from crashing to the ground in Spijkenisse, Netherlands.
ROBIN UTRECHT/ANP/AFP via Getty Images

Everyone is familiar with this action-movie cliche: a vehicle inches towards a cliff where it could careen off into a fiery wreck, but wait! At the last second it slows, teetering on the edge before it stops. Some miraculous force — a superhero, an everyman, the laws of physics — saves the day.

Early Monday morning in the Dutch city of Spijkenisse, this scene played out in real life, but the savior wasn’t Spiderman; it was a whale’s tail.

Around 12:30 a.m., a city train on elevated tracks broke through the end of the line and was in danger of plummeting 30 feet to the ground, but a 32-foot sculpture of a whale’s tail by artist Maarten Struijs caught the train mid-air, The New York Times reported.

“It’s like the scene of a Hollywood movie,” Ruud Natrop, a spokesperson for safety in the Rotterdam-Rijnmond area, which includes Spijkenisse, told the Times. “Thank God the tail was there.”

According to Natrop, the driver, who was the only person in the train at the time, was unharmed. Additionally, train officials are investigating the cause of the accident.

For now, the train-topped whale tail has become an immediate attraction. Photographer Joey Bremer’s images of the incident, which he posted to Twitter, have since gone viral. And once the sun rose, locals flocked to the scene to snap photos of their own.

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