155: The Kaprun Cover-Up

On November 11th 2000, 155 people, most of them young, died in a fire in the tunnel of the Kaprun funicular railway. Images of the catastrophe were seen all over the world. Attention from abroad stoked fear inside Austria, where the pressure mounted to protect the reputation of its ski industry. The consequences are now known and have been adequately documented: The Republic failed at all levels in finding the truth.

The railway operators, investigators, government officials and expert witnesses all played their part in the concealment, so that in 2004 a judgment was passed that was not only disingenuous, but outright scandalous: acquittal for all the accused. “The good Lord closed his eyes in the tunnel for a few minutes,” said the judge in his justification of the verdict.

By chance, the court file was transferred to Germany in 2005, where investigative work by German authorities brought to light completely different facts. This website and the book 155 – The Kaprun Cover-Up document a judicial scandal of the highest order, one that no one in the constitutional state of Austria would have ever thought possible.