Nine people are dead and 50 seriously injured after a head-on collision between two trains in Germany’s southern state of Bavaria, according to police.
Altogether, 100 to 150 people suffered injuries in the collision, police say. Authorities have issued an urgent call for blood donations to help treat the injured.
The crash occurred shortly after 7 a.m. Tuesday local time near the spa town of Bad Aibling, about 60 kilometers (37 miles) southeast of the Bavarian capital of Munich.
The collision left train carriages fused together and partly derailed, according to a statement from train company Meridian, which described the crash as a “terrible accident.”
The crash occurred on the Mangfall Valley Railway, a single-track regional rail line running between the towns of Rosenheim and Holzkirchen, according to Meridian.
‘We really have no clue’
How the two trains came to collide head-on on a single rail line was still unclear, said Christian Schreyer, board chairman for Transdev, which operates the railway.
“We really have no clue how this could happen,” he told CNN. “Both of our trains have been on this track at the same time.”
The trains were equipped with an automatic braking system that would stop them if they ran through a red signal. Also, each train had a driver and a driver instructor on board.
It would be extremely unlikely for both drivers on a train to miss a red signal — and then for the automatic braking system not to kick in, Schreyer said.
“We assume that those signals were green, but we don’t know yet,” he said.
Schreyer said he was still en route to the crash scene from northern Germany, but from what he had heard, the trains were moving at speed when they collided.
“I don’t think that (they) were on full speed, but looking at what has happened, they have been not very slow, let’s say it that way,” he said.
The trains were permitted to run at 120 kph, or just under 75 mph, on the line, he said.
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