Germany Train Crash Kills At Least 10
A train crash in Germany has left ten people dead and 150 injured. According to German authorities, two trains slammed into each other after an automatic safety system apparently failed to stop them.
A train crash in Germany is being investigated, and thus far, some are blaming it on an automatic safety system failure. On Tuesday morning at around 7 a.m., two commuter trains crashed head-on in Bad Aibling, Bavaria, located in southern Germany.
German authorities say that ten people including the two train drivers have lost their lives and 150 were injured. A flood of emergency calls prompted many rescue units with over 700 emergency personnel to rush to the scene within three minutes, but 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.
Rescue workers were forced to use dozens of helicopters and small boats to move injured passengers to the other side of the river to waiting ambulances, which took them to a hospital in southern Bavaria. Police spokesman Stefan Sonntag said:
“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.”
Authorities are looking into the two black boxes of the trains hoping to understand what caused the accident. Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt has a theory on what could have gone wrong – he believes that “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. Dobrindt revealed:
“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.”
According to Dobrindt, it is not yet known at what speed the trains were traveling, but they are permitted to travel at speeds up to 80 mph on that stretch of track. Each commuter train can carry up to 1,000 passengers and are commonly used by children going to school, but since it is a regional holiday (Carnival), there were less than 200 on board. Regional police chief Robert Kopp added:
“We’re lucky that we’re on the Carnival holidays, because usually many more people are on these trains.”
Authorities have set up a hotline for friends and families of those affected by the crash and blood centers across Germany have put out an urgent call for donors.