Rogue cleaner commandeers Swedish train

by Stephanie Zillman18 Jan 2013

If you thought you could skip the background checks for your cleaning staff – think again.

A company in Sweden has been left wondering if they missed clues during the hiring process after one of their cleaners commandeered an empty commuter train – which the company was contracted to clean – and crashed it into a block of flats.

The 22 year old Swedish woman had worked for cleaning company Arriva for “a few months, with good results”, a spokesperson said.

The cleaner stole the train from the depot and travelling at 80 kilometres per hour the locomotive bolted off the tracks when it reached the end of the line, careered 25 metres in the snow before crashing into a three-storey building in the upscale neighbourhood of Saltsjoebaden, the Arriva spokesperson said. Driving the train was "doable" for most people, as long as they had the key, he added.

The woman was reportedly taken to hospital in a “serious but stable” condition, and no other people were injured. A Stockholm police spokesman told media the woman was detained on suspicion of destroying public property, a crime punishable by up to eight years in jail. “The train was wrecked,” Stockholm Public Transport spokesman Jesper Pettersson said simply.

It remains unclear why exactly the woman stole the train.

Photo: (AFP/Scanpix Sweden: Jonas Ekstromer)