Fire safety officers carry rescue equipment to the site of a fatal train collision in southern Germany. Photo: Paul Winterer/dpa

First black box from German train crash shows no sign of technical failure

Munich  –  Germany Transport Minister, Alexander Dobrindt, said information from the first of three black boxes from the two commuter trains that collided in southern Germany showed no indication of technical failure.

Dobrindt said on Thursday in Munich that remaining two black boxes would be examined to draw conclusions on the cause of the Tuesday crash near Bavarian town of Bad Aibling.

Ten persons died and 18 were injured in the incident.

The minister said that prosecutors and police were trying to determine why an automatic safety system designed to avoid head-on collisions failed to prevent the accident.

He said that the failure of the system to function led to the collusion at full speed on a single-track line of the two commuter trains carrying a total of 150 people.

He said that due to a curve in the track and the fact that the area was partially wooded, the drivers had no visibility before the two trains crashed into one another, causing several compartments to derail.

Meanwhile, an official source close to the investigation, said on condition of anonymity, that human error caused the accident.

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Police Spokesman, Juergen Thalmeier, said that the officer on duty was questioned immediately after the accident and that there was “no urgent suspicion” against him.
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He also said that they were investigating the possibility of human error, technical failure, or a combination of both.

Thalmeier said that the search for victims had been completed, and expressed optimism that none of the 81 people wounded in the crash, 18 among them seriously wounded, would succumb to their injuries.

He said that emergency workers were removing the wreckage from the single-track line with the help of a large crane in an operation likely to last for two days.

“Work at the accident site has been halted for the first time late Wednesday overnight and due to resume Thursday morning,’’ he said.

Thalmeier said that nine of 10 victims had been identified, and that they were all men aged between 24 and 60, and included two train drivers and a supervising driver. (dpa/NAN)

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