A terrible tragedy occurred on Rosh Hashanah in Innsbruck, capital of the Austrian Tyrol, when Avraham Pirogov, a Chabad Chassid aged 26, was electrocuted when climbing over a cargo train at the station.
It was the second night of Rosh Hashanah, and the deceased, accompanied by a friend who is a Polish citizen, went in search of another Jew to complete a minyan. The two took a shortcut through the local railway station, and Avraham climbed on to the train to make things quicker. His friend tried to dissuade him, but it was too late. When Avraham reached the top of the carriage, he accidentally touched an electrical cable with a current of 15,000 volts and his body went up in flames.
Firefighters who were called to the scene by bystanders reported that from afar it appeared that the whole train was on fire. But in fact, only the deceased was burned. After railway staff disconnected the current, the firefighters were able to climb onto the train, and they immediately announced Avraham’s death.
Local police reported that the two bochurim studied in Vienna, but they were visiting Innsbruck for the holiday.
Avraham’s family live in Maalot, Israel, and his older brother, David, is a doctor who recently started to become observant and attend shiurim at the local Chabad House.
As Rosh Hashanah approached, David felt that he wanted to become even more observant, and on erev Rosh Hashanah, after a conversation with Avraham, he decided to start wearing tzitzis and put on tefillin. Avraham welcomed this good resolution and he was very happy to know that his older brother was also keeping Torah and mitzvos.
On the afternoon of the second day of Yom Tov, while David was still at the Chabad House in Maalot, he was informed of his brother’s death. Also present at the Chabad House was Rabbi Simcha Goll, a top ZAKA official. Immediately after Rosh Hashanah, he contacted Rabbi Shmuel Kaminetzky, the shliach of Dnieperpetrovsk, where Avraham came from, and the shliach in Vienna, where Avraham had attended university, in order to find out what was going on.
For the next two days, every effort was made to bring Avraham back to Israel as soon as possible. Due to the efforts of ZAKA and Chabad in Vienna and Maalot, Avraham was flown back to Israel and laid to rest near his parents’ home. Many paid their last respects to this special young man, who had planned to go to 770 once he had finished his university studies.
(SOURCE & PHOTO: COL.ORG.IL)