Europe

Germany train crash: Death toll rises to 11

Task force units watch a crane lift a train car at the site of the train accident in Bad Aibling, Germany (11 February 2016) Image copyright EPA
Image caption Work to remove the damaged trains from the crash site is continuing

A man injured in the Bavarian train crash on Tuesday has died of his injuries, bringing the death toll from the disaster to 11.

A further 82 people are recovering from injuries, 20 of them severely hurt, after two commuter trains collided on a single-track stretch of railway.

Work to remove the wreckage from the site continues, but is proceeding slowly because of the location.

A third data recorder on board the trains has yet to be found.

Unanswered questions

In focus: Bavaria's railways

Authorities are trying to work out why two trains were on the stretch of track at the same time, despite safety mechanisms.

The trains crashed head-on while both were travelling at about 100km/h (60mph) east of Bad Aibling, a spa town about 60km south-east of Munich.

All 11 victims of the crash were men aged between 24 and 59.

Two large cranes have been brought to the site to remove the wreckage. The crash happened on a bend in a wooded area, above a canal, and vehicle access is difficult.


What we know

  • The accident occurred on a single-track route between Rosenheim and Holzkirchen at 06:48 local time (05:48 GMT) on Tuesday
  • Officials say they assume both train drivers had no visual contact before the crash as the site is on a bend - and therefore crashed into each other largely without braking
  • The stretch of line had an automatic braking system designed to halt any train that passed a stop signal. It is not yet known why this failed to stop the crash
  • Two of the three data recorders or "black boxes" on board the trains have been recovered

Germany's rail safety mechanism

In case signals fail, German railways are fitted with a final safety guard to prevent crashes.

Cab signalling known as PZB (Punktfoermige Zugbeeinflussung - or "intermittent train control") will set off an alarm in the driver's compartment when the train approaches a red light. If the driver does not respond by pressing a button, the train will brake automatically.

Who operates the signals?

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Media captionGermany train crash: Aerials show crash site devastation

Other fatal German train crashes

  • January 2011: 10 killed at Magdeburg in Saxony-Anhalt when commuter train collides with goods train after driver runs through two signals
  • February 2000: Nine dead when overnight train from Amsterdam to Basel crashes near Cologne
  • June 1998: 101 killed when a high-speed train with a broken wheel derails and smashes into a bridge at Eschede in Lower Saxony

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