Bad Aibling train crash: German controller jailed

Signaller Michael P in court on 10 Nov Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The signaller, Michael P, appeared in court with a hood to cover his face

A German court has sentenced a train controller to three and a half years in jail over a rail disaster in Bavaria which killed 12 people and injured 89.

The 40-year-old defendant, named as Michael P, admitted making a signalling error and dialling the wrong emergency number. Two commuter trains collided near Bad Aibling in February.

The controller also admitted having played a computer game on his mobile phone just before the crash.

He expressed "huge guilt" in the case.

"I would like you to know that my thoughts are with you," he told survivors, in a statement read by lawyers. The trial took place in Traunstein.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Investigators began looking into the controller's phone data some time after the crash

Those who died in the crash at Bad Aibling on 9 February were all men aged between 24 and 59.

Prosecutors said Michael P had been playing the fantasy game "Dungeon Hunter 5" on his phone when he allowed the two trains on to a single-track line.

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