BAD AIBLING, Germany (AP) — Two trains crashed head-on in southern Germany early Tuesday, leaving at least nine people dead and 40 seriously injured, the German news agency dpa said. More than three hours after the crash, emergency services were still trying to reach people trapped in the wreckage.
Police spokesman Stefan Sonntag told The Associated Press the two regional trains crashed near Bad Aibling, in Bavaria before 7 a.m. and that several wagons overturned.
TV footage showed emergency helicopters and ambulances lined up in an area near the crash scene waiting to transport the most severely injured to hospitals.
Sonntag said that the scene of the accident on the tracks between Rosenheim and Holzkirchen was so confusing that he did not have any specific numbers of injured and dead yet.
“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,” Sonntag said.
Sonntag said several rescue helicopters from Austria were also involved.
A spokesman for German federal police in Bavaria, Matthias Knott, said that the region was very inaccessible and making rescue efforts more difficult. The crash took place near the river Mangfall in a densely wooded and hilly region.
Water police were helping in the rescue efforts as well, dpa reported, taking injured from the trains across the river to waiting ambulances. The injured were taking to hospitals all over southern Bavaria.
Dpa quoted Bernd Rosenbusch, the head of the Bayerische Oberlandbahn, which runs the trains, as saying, “this is a huge shock – we are doing everything to help the passengers, relatives and employees.”