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We know the saying "saved by the bell", but we’ve never heard of "saved by the whale’s tail", until now.

Early on Monday morning, just outside of the port city of Rotterdam in the Netherlands, a subway commuter train derailed. The derailment meant the conductor couldn’t put on the breaks and soon realised he was heading for disaster, or quite possibly his death or serious injury.

The Associated Press reports that the train steamrolled right through the pair of stop blocks that are designed as a safety precaution to keep the front carriage from falling off the edge of the track.

Luckily there were no passengers on board, otherwise the weight would have increased the train’s momentum and it might not have come to a stop when it hit the massive whale tail statue at the end of the track at De Akkers station.

The statue saved the train from hitting the ground after it got stuck in the tail. Although it was hanging about nine metres in the air, the conductor managed to get out unharmed.

The statue is aptly titled, Saved By The Whale, and was built in 2002. It is made from a durable plastic, but like most statues, it is hollow inside.

NPR reports that the architect who created the sculpture, Maarten Struijs, was shocked it held up.

"I am amazed that it is so strong. When plastic has stood for 20 years, you don’t expect it to hold up a metro train."

Watch the CTV video below for more on the train conductor who was saved by a whale’s tail.

Image credit: NBC12

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