Cruise survivors unable to board train home
German railway operator Deutsche Bahn is apologising after a conductor refused to allow a couple to board a train home, despite the fact their tickets and money had been destroyed in the Costa Concordia cruise ship disaster.
Marianne and Erwin Bleser (66 and 70) had caught a bus to Frankfurt Airport’s train station after the shipwreck on January 13, hoping Deutsche Bahn would still allow them to take their pre-reserved train to Langenhahn in Rhineland-Palatinate.
But, according to the Rhein Zeitung, the conductor said that since the couple’s tickets had been destroyed, they had to buy new ones for €70.
“I’ve never seen such arrogance,” Marianne Bleser told the newspaper, explaining the couple had only a few euros for food and drink in their pockets. “Perhaps the train workers thought we wanted to steal the tickets.”
After the train worker threatened the couple with a fine if they did not immediately de-board, the tired pair got off and called their son for help. He drove to their airport to pick them up and took them home, the Rhein Zeitung reported.
Deutsche Bahn has apologised for the situation, although it told Der Spiegel magazine that it did not have complete responsibility.
“Generally the tour operator must ensure that its guests get home in such a case,” a spokesman told the magazine’s website.
The Bahn said it had reached out to the couple and wanted to do “something good” for the pair.
At least 12 Germans still missing and are believed to have died in the grounding of the Costa Concordia off the coast of Italy.