Kicker – A whale of a rescue

NICK EICHER, HOST: If you ever thought public sculptures were kind of pointless—silly indulgences we just don’t need—maybe think again.

In the Netherlands is a 30-foot sculpture called “Saved by the Whale’s Tale.” Two of them. Placed at the end of the tracks for an elevated train. The tail end of the tracks.

For almost 20 years, just a seemingly frivolous piece of public art.

But all that changed. One of the elevated trains came to the end but didn’t stop. Crashed right through and it was on its way down—except!

The sculpture stopped it. The front car of the train came to rest on one of the tails and there it sat, suspended on the tip of the tail.

Carly Gorter is a public information officer for the transit authority. The audio from Agence France Presse.

AUDIO: Ehh, the metro didn’t stop and now it’s hanging over an art piece called “Saved by the Whale’s Tail.”

Saved by the Whale’s Tail, literally.

The train was carrying no passengers, so they were never at risk. But the driver was and he escaped without injury.

He will not escape some questioning, though.

And when he answers, I’m guessing it’ll be a whale of a tale.

It’s The World and Everything in It.

(Photo/Niels Wenstedt, BSR Agency, Getty)

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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