Eight dead, 90 injured in head-on train collision in southern Germany

At least eight people are dead and another 90 injured after two commuter trains collided head on and partially derailed near the southern German town of Bad Aibling on Tuesday, police said.

One of the two train drivers is among the eight casualties, Bavarian broadcaster BR reported. The other is still missing but not believed to have survived the crash, which occurred at 0550 GMT on a rail track next to the Mangfall River, a police spokesman said.

At least 90 people were injured - 40 of them seriously. Fifteen are in critical condition. Police said it was likely the death toll would rise further and that authorities were still struggling to gain an overview of the situation.

Eight helicopters were transporting people with serious injuries to nearby hospitals. Those with less severe injuries were being treated at the scene. A lifeguard service was taking patients to the opposite side of the river for treatment.

Helicopters were also seen lifting victims in body bags to the other side of the river.

"At the scene of the collision, one can only see debris. Rescue workers are climbing around and pulling people out," Bavarian broadcaster BR quoted a rescue worker as saying.

The man added that 10 to 15 metres at the front of each train had been destroyed in the collision and that both trains had partially derailed.

The commuter trains were less crowded than usual due to the fact that Bavarian school children are currently on holiday for Carnival, police said.

The reason for the head-on collision, which occurred at 0550 GMT, remains unclear. Rail operator Deutsche Bahn said the accident happened on a curve in the tracks where trains are allowed to travel up to 120 kilometres per hour.

The Upper Bavarian Rail Service issued a statement.

"[This] is a huge shock for us. We are doing everything to help the commuters, their relatives and staff," chief executive Bernd Rosenbusch was quoted as saying.

Police were due to hold a press conference at 1100 GMT. Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt was due to arrive in Bad Aibling around the same time.

Last update: Tue, 09/02/2016 - 11:35

More from Europe

Hundreds protest in Berlin in solidarity with US Women's March

Hundreds are staging a demonstration for women's rights in front of the US embassy in Berlin, on the same day that a...

Five dead, 23 missing after avalanche hits Italian hotel

The death toll in an avalanche that buried a hotel in Italy earlier this week has risen to five and 23 people are...

Official: Attack was imminent, possibly on Vienna underground

Police foiled an imminent attack, possibly on the Vienna underground, when they arrested a radicalized 18-year-old,...

Le Pen hails birth of a "new world" at far-right conference

Leaders of Europe's established far-right parties were bullish about their parties' prospects at a conference in the...

Hitler, Mussolini figures set up in Koblenz to protest European right

Protestors set up metre-high cardboard figures of notorious European fascist leaders to mark their disgust at a...