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Germany Train Crash: Head-On Collision Kills 9, Injures 150

Image: Germany Train Crash: Head-On Collision Kills 9, Injures 150

Aerial view of train accident near Bad Aibling in Germany. (Peter Kneffel/dpa via AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 09 Feb 2016 11:31 AM

At least nine people were killed when two commuter trains crashed head-on Tuesday morning in a remote area in southern Germany. Some of the 150 people injured had to be cut out of the wreckage and transported across a river for medical care.

The two regional trains crashed before 7 a.m. on the single line that runs near Bad Aibling, in Bavaria, and several cars overturned, police spokesman Stefan Sonntag told The Associated Press. Fifty of those hurt have serious injuries, he added.

It took hours to reach some of the injured in the wreckage and authorities were still working at midday to remove the final body from the train.

"Once that is done then the investigators can begin their work," federal police spokesman Rainer Scharf told the AP from the scene.

The rail line is commonly used by commuters heading to work in Munich, and would normally also carry children traveling to school, but they are currently on holiday, the dpa news agency reported.

It was not clear how fast the trains were traveling at the time of the crash but German rail operator Deutsche Bahn told dpa they were permitted to travel at speeds of up to 80 mph on that stretch of track.

The trains crashed in a remote area about 40 miles southeast of Munich, with a forest on one side and a river on the other. Rescue crews using helicopters and small boats shuttled injured passengers to the other side of the Mangfall river to waiting ambulances. Authorities said they were being taken to hospitals across southern Bavaria.

Hundreds of emergency personnel from Germany and neighboring Austria were on the scene looking through the wreckage and aiding in the evacuation of the injured.

"This is the biggest accident we have had in years in this region and we have many emergency doctors, ambulances and helicopters on the scene," Sonntag said.

The two trains from the so-called Meridian line were both partially derailed and wedged against one another, train operater Bayerische Oberlandbahn said in a statement on its website.

It was not yet clear what caused the crash, police said.

Germany is known for the quality of its train service but the country has seen several other accidents, typically at road crossings.

Most recently, a train driver and one passenger were killed when a train hit the trailer of a tractor in western Germany in May, injuring another 20.

In 2011, 10 people were killed and 23 injured in a head-on collision of a passenger train and a cargo train on a single-line track close to Saxony-Anhalt's state capital Magdeburg in eastern Germany.

Germany's worst train accident happened in 1998, when a high-speed ICE train crashed in the northern German town of Eschede, killing 101 people and injuring more than 80.

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At least nine people were killed when two commuter trains crashed head-on Tuesday morning in a remote area in southern Germany. Some of the 150 people injured had to be cut out of the wreckage and transported across a river for medical care.
germany, train, crash, kills 9
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2016-31-09
Tuesday, 09 Feb 2016 11:31 AM
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