German train crash death toll set at 10; police end search for bodies

German police said Wednesday they have concluded their search for victims of a head-on collision of two commuter trains the day before that left 10 dead and 81 injured.

Police spokesman Andreas Guske said Wednesday that 10 bodies had been retrieved from the wreckage and that the search for victims was now complete, correcting an earlier statement that an 11th body had been found.

He added he was "optimistic" that none of the 81 people wounded in the crash - 18 among them seriously - would succumb to their injuries.

The accident, which occurred near the Bavarian town of Bad Aibling at 6:50 am (0550 GMT) Tuesday, saw two commuter trains carrying a total of 150 people collide at full speed on a single-track line. The accident happened at a curve after an automatic braking system apparently failed.

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.

An automatic braking system designed to prevent head-on collisions had been in place at the time of the accident.

Prosecutors say they are investigating the possibility of a technical fault and of human error as potential causes of the accident.

A source close to the investigation told dpa late Tuesday that human error had been found to have caused the crash, but police have declined to confirm this.

Last update: Wed, 10/02/2016 - 11:09
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