njemačka, vlak, nesreća, germany, accident.jpg
Photograph: EPA/UWE LEIN

Information obtained from the first of three black boxes out of two commuter trains that collided head on in southern Germany shows no indication of a technical failure, Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt said Wednesday.

Dobrindt said that the remaining two black boxes would have to be examined to draw conclusions as to the cause of the crash near the Bavarian town of Bad Aibling, which killed 10 people and injured 81 early Tuesday.

Prosecutors and police are trying to determine why an automatic safety system designed to avoid head-on collisions failed to prevent the accident, allowing two commuter trains carrying a total of 150 people to collide at full speed on a single-track line.

Due to a curve in the track and the fact that the area was partially wooded, the drivers had no visibility before the two trains crashed into one another, causing several compartments to derail. Deutsche Bahn said the safety system had been tested as recently as last week.

A source close to the investigation told dpa Wednesday that human error had caused the accident. Police spokesman Juergen Thalmeier said that the officer on duty had been questioned immediately after the accident and that there was "no urgent suspicion" against him.

Prosecutors say they are investigating the possibility of human error, technical failure, or a combination of both.

Police spokesman Andreas Guske said that the search for victims was complete. He said he was "optimistic" that none of the 81 people wounded in the crash - 18 among them seriously - would succumb to their injuries.

Emergency workers were removing the wreckage from the single-track line with the help of a large crane in an operation likely to last for two days. Work at the accident site was halted for the first time late Wednesday overnight and due to resume Thursday morning.

Nine of 10 victims have been identified, Thalmeier said. They are all men aged between 24 and 60, and include two train drivers and a supervising train driver.

Latest news

Stickers reading "Serbian Family Tree" appear in Vukovar

Stickers reading "Serbian Family Tree" with the image of people hanging from a tree and the face of Ante Pavelic, Croatian fascist dictator who led the Ustasha movement and the Independent State of Croatia (NDH), appeared at bus stations along Trpinjska Street in the eastern Croatian town of Vukovar on Friday.

Turkish ruling party launches campaign for constitutional changes

Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) on Saturday formally launched its campaign for the upcoming referendum on core constitutional changes set to empower the presidency, with a mass rally at a sports arena in Ankara.

Top US general visits Syrian Kurds with focus on al-Raqqa campaign

A top US general visited Syrian Kurdish forces and their allies in northern Syria this week, amid signs the US military was increasing its support for anti-Islamic State forces, despite risks that such a move could anger neighbouring Turkey. 

Germany expects long-term migration growth after revising estimates

Net migration to Germany is expected to be 200,000 annually in the coming years, according to a news report to be published Sunday.

Malaysian police seek to reassure public over VX nerve agent

Malaysian police said on Saturday they would do everything possible to ensure there was no risk to the public from the lethal VX nerve agent used to kill Kim Jong Nam in the country's main international airport.

Cretu says Croatia must accelerate apsorbtion of European funds

The Commissioner also said that for the 2014-2020 period, Croatia would have twice the amount from the previous period at its disposal -- a total of EUR 10.67 billion.

Germany's Schulz accepts only 'small' role in party's poll boost

The main rival to German Chancellor Angela Merkel in this year's elections has said the boost in opinion polls for his Social Democrats (SPD) is not mainly down to him personally.

Coordinated suicide attacks kill over 40 in Syria’s Homs

Forty-two security personnel were killed Saturday in synchronized attacks targeting government security facilities in the Syrian city of Homs, a monitoring group said, with up to six suicide bombers reported to be involved.

Bangladesh PM calls for 'huge fund' to renovate factories

Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday urged international clothing brands to help factory owners overhaul their facilities.

EC adopts delegated act on Teran, despite Slovenia's opposition

The European Commission has, despite Slovenia's opposition, adopted a delegated act whereby Croatian winemakers in Istria would be enabled to continue selling their wine made from the Teran grape variety under the name "Croatian Istria - Teran", and the act could be published early next week, the Slovenian news agency STA reported on Friday.

Filipinos mark 1986 mass uprising amid fears of new 'dictatorship'

Thousands of protesters on Saturday marked a 1986 mass uprising that ousted late Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos, amid fears of a crackdown against political opponents of President Rodrigo Duterte.

Rocket attack leave 2 students dead in eastern Afghanistan

At least two students were killed when a rocket fired by Taliban militants hit a school in Afghanistan’s eastern Laghman province on Saturday morning, local authorities said.