The mystery surrounding a legendary Nazi gold train buried in Polandtook a new twist after the suspected location of the armoured train and its cargo went up in flames.
The embankment by the Wroclaw-Walbrzych main line considered to be the favourite for the train’s location in the town of Walbrzych, southern Poland, was burnt along with 219 square yards of forest and bush on it.
The blaze was only brought under control after five fire appliances attended following a phone call of fire at 8pm on Sunday night,
Photo: Craig Stennett/The TelegraphUnidentified treasure hunters claim to have found the train that allegedly disappeared in the dying days of the Second World War along with its loot among the hills around Walbrzych.
Although the fire brigade said they were almost certain it was not arson, the blaze has added to the mystery of a story that has gripped both Polish and international attention since news broke of the train’s apparent discovery two weeks ago.
It also emerged that treasure hunters on the trail of the legend claim to have been intimidated by mysterious armed men who warned them to stop looking.
Tadeusz Slowikowski, a local historian who has dedicated himself to finding the train, told the MailOnline that in 2003 three armed men told him to stop searching, and that his dog had been poisoned. He also claimed his phone was still monitored.
“A lot of dangerous people are interested in finding this train, this could have been a warning from one of them,” another hunter told the website. “This man who called me knows that I know something.”
Contrasting opinions over the amount and credibility of evidence supporting the existence of the train have also become public.
Photo: AFP/GettyTomasz Smolarz, the regional governor, said at a press conference on Monday, that on the “evidence presented to the mayor of Walbrzych we cannot confirm the discovery”.
He added that he had only seen a few pages of “illegible maps that were of little value”.
Roman Szelemej, mayor of Walbrzych, said he remained sceptical over claims of the train’s discovery.
Their opinions contrast with those of Piotr Zuchowski, Poland’s vice culture minister, who said on Friday he was “99 per-cent certain” the train existed after seeing images taken by the claimants using ground penetrating radar (GPR).
For reasons that remain unclear it appears the GPR pictures have not been shared among the Polish authorities.