Jan. 3 (UPI) -- Authorities said at least eight people died and 16 others injured when a passenger train collided with freight train cargo in Denmark Wednesday.
The death count was updated from six that was initially reported from the accident, which included five women and three men, Euronews.com reported. The train is believed to have collided with cargo blown off a freight train going the opposite direction on the Storebaelt bridge, which links the Zealand and Funen islands.
There were 131 passengers and three crew on board the train, train operator Deutsche Bahn Cargo Scandinavia reported. The train was heading to Copenhagen.
At the time of the accident, the bridge was closed to vehicle traffic because of strong winds but trains were allowed to pass. The severe storm hampered efforts to rescue people from the train.
The initial investigation by the Danish Accident Investigation Board said that a trailer had blown off a freight wagon onto the oncoming tracks. Emergency personnel transported the injured to a hospital in Odense with non-critical injuries.
"The investigation is underway," Lars Bræmhøj, Chief Police Inspector for Fyn Police said at a press conference on Wednesday. "We still do not know the exact reasons, but we can confirm that some goods fell off a wagon off the freight train, and then the oncoming train hit those goods."
The freight train was carrying Carlsberg beer when the accident happened about 7:30 a.m. local time, a spokesman for the brewing company Copenhagen, told CNN. Deutsche Bahn Cargo Scandinavia operated the train.
"I was on the second coach when the crash happened," passenger Jim Nielson said who was attempting to catch a flight. "There was a cargo train coming from Zealand, the opposite direction. It was shaking due to the strong wind.
"One of the containers was blown off the cargo train into the rails, because of the wind. Our driver tried to stop the train, pulling the brake. But the train continued to drive a bit, and crashed into the container blown off from the cargo. I saw sparks coming from the wheels," he continued.