A high-speed crash involving two trains near Bavaria, Germany, has left ten dead and more than 150 injured, many of whom are in serious condition.
Two commuter trains were involved in a high speed early morning head-on collision in Bad Aibling, Bavaria, located in southern Germany. The crash is being investigated and many believe the accident happened because of an automatic safety system failure, which would have otherwise stopped both the trains, if it had correctly sensed they were headed for a collision.
Confirming the train crash, German authorities solemnly added that so far ten people have died, including the two main drivers, and about 150 passengers have been injured. Hospitals, which have been receiving the injured, confirmed that about 18 of those brought in, are in serious condition and the death toll could rise further. Immediately after the train crash, a barrage of calls to the national emergency number alerted rescuers. Though the exact number is uncertain, many rescue units were dispatched. By local estimates, more than 700 emergency personnel were present at the scene of the crash within a matter of few minutes. However, the location of the crash is still throwing challenges in rescuing the passengers and sending them off to local hospitals.
With the Mangfall river on one side and a forest on the other, it took hours to reach some of the injured in the wreckage, reported the Spreadit. Rescue workers had to rely on dozens of helicopters and small rescue boats to approach the crash site, and move the injured to the other side of the river and into waiting ambulances. Hospitals in southern Bavaria have been receiving and treating passengers all day. This is by far the biggest accident, let alone one involving two commuter trains, that the region has witnessed in a long time, confirmed Police spokesman Stefan Sonntag.
“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.”
It is baffling how two commuter trains, both of which were fitted with advanced failsafe automatic braking systems, collided head on. Looking at the crash site, it becomes apparent that one of the trains sliced into the other, ripping its side apart and causing several carriages to overturn in the crash near Bad Aibling, about 60 kilometers southeast of Munich, reported ABC News.
pic of one of the train that derailed after head on collision in Aibling, Germany, casualties feared pic.twitter.com/lZYuDNo5jI— Khalid Khan™ (@khalidkhan787) February 9, 2016
Authorities have already collected two black boxes of the trains and are hoping they could shed some light into the train crash. Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt has a theory on what could have gone wrong.
“A system designed to automatically brake trains if they have accidentally ended up on the same track malfunctioned and, therefore, failed to prevent the deadly crash.”
The train crash would have been a much graver tragedy as the rail line is used by commuters heading to work in Munich, and would normally also carry children traveling to school, reported the Scotsman. However, owing to a lengthy holiday in the region, hopefully there were no children on board the ill-fated trains. Police added that many more people would have been killed, had it been a regular work week.
The trains crashed in a remote area southeast of Munich in Germany. Moreover, the crash happened near a curve, which didn’t allow a clear line of sight to the drivers, added Dobrindt.
“The site is on a curve, we have to assume that the train drivers had no visual contact and hit each other without braking. We need to determine immediately whether it was a technical problem or a human mistake.”
Germany has set up a hotline for the relatives of those who might have been involved in the train crash and confirmed that an investigation has already been initiated.
[Photo by Josef Reisner/Getty Images]