Germany probes cause of deadly train crash

German investigators raced Wednesday to determine whether human error or technical fault was to blame for a train crash that killed 10 people, as police said all bodies had been recovered from the wreckage.

AFP| Updated: Feb 10, 2016, 17:29 PM IST

Berlin: German investigators raced Wednesday to determine whether human error or technical fault was to blame for a train crash that killed 10 people, as police said all bodies had been recovered from the wreckage.

There are "no more missing people", police said in a statement, adding that 17 people were severely injured and 63 others slightly hurt in Tuesday`s collision near the southern spa town of Bad Aibling.

Two trains travelling at high speeds crashed head-on on a single track, with one slicing the other apart, ripping a large gash in its side.

Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt said the line was fitted with an automatic braking system that should have prevented such accidents and investigators were probing whether the mechanism malfunctioned or whether there had been human error.

Newspaper group RedaktionsNetzwerk Deutschand (RND), citing sources close to the investigation, said a signalling station worker had manually deactivated the automatic signalling system to let the first train -- which was running late -- go past.

That action would have also shut off the automatic braking system.

The second train then forged ahead on the same track in the opposite direction, before the first was able to split off where the line divides into two, according to RND.
Police would not confirm the report.Dobrindt himself had cautioned against any speculation on the causes of the disaster.

"At the moment we will have to wait (for the result of the investigation). Everything else is speculation, and would be unhelpful and inappropriate," he had said on Tuesday.
Stefano, 24, a passenger on one of the trains, told Bild newspaper that the horrific accident began with a sudden "screech, like with an emergency brake".

"Then there was a real crash, it was damn loud. The back of the train was thrust up. The lights went out and I was thrown across half the train.