[RailTransportation] TRANSPORTATION: RAILROAD: PASSENGER: DISASTERS : COUNTRIES: GERMANY: Prosecutors Believe Human Error Caused German Train Crash

 

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TRANSPORTATION: RAILROAD: PASSENGER: DISASTERS :

COUNTRIES: GERMANY:

Prosecutors Believe Human Error Caused German Train Crash

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Prosecutors Believe Human Error Caused German Train Crash

Philip Oltermann in Berlin

Tuesday 16 February 2016 09.27 EST

The Guardian

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/feb/16/ german-prosecutors-believe-human-error-caused-bavaria-train-crash

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Chief prosecutors office opens criminal investigation into train dispatcher over crash that killed 11 in Bavaria

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A head-on train crash in southern Germany that killed 11 people and injured more than 80 was caused by a train dispatchers terrible human error, prosecutors have said.

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The chief prosecutor Wolfgang Giese said on Tuesday that a criminal investigation had been launched against a 39-year-old man on suspicion of negligent homicide, bodily harm and interference with rail traffic.

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Speaking a week after two trains collided at about 60mph (100 km/h) on a single track near Bad Aibling, Bavaria, Giese said his team believed the dispatcher had given a special signal which shouldnt have been given, thus overriding the automated stopping signal.

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After the man realised his error, he had made two emergency calls to try to stop the trains but had been unable to prevent the collision, Giese said.

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If he [the dispatcher] had behaved according to the rules, as he was obliged to, the trains would not have collided, Giese said.

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The man, who was not identified, had started his shift at 5am. The crash occurred at 6.40am. Alcohol, drugs or illness had not played a role in the error, the prosecutor said.

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The dispatcher, who has several years experience in his job, had initially refused to give evidence, but agreed to be interviewed on Monday.

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Ten dead, 17 critically injured
after head-on train crash in Bavaria, Germany

By Max Foster, Tim Hume and Stephanie Halasz,

CNN

Updated 3:38 AM ET, Wed February 10, 2016

http://www.cnn.com/2016/02/09/europe/germany-train-collision/

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(CNN) Ten people are dead and 17 are critically injured after a head-on collision between two trains in Germany’s southern state of Bavaria Tuesday, police say.

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At least 63 people on board suffered less serious injuries, police said. They said there were about 150 passengers on board the two trains.

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The crash occurred shortly before 7 a.m. Tuesday local time near the spa town of Bad Aibling, about 60 kilometers (37 miles) southeast of the Bavarian capital of Munich.

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The trains collided at a bend on the Mangfall Valley Railway, a single-track regional rail line between the towns of Rosenheim and Holzkirchen, German Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt said.

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“There’s a curve there, so we must assume that the train drivers must not have been able to see each other beforehand,” he told reporters at a news conference.

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One of the trains had “drilled” into the other, he said, leaving a carriage “totally dismantled.”

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He described the scene as a “horrible picture,” saying it was estimated the trains had been traveling about 100 kph (62 mph) at the moment of impact.

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“This is a difficult hour for the railways in Germany,” said Dobrindt, describing the crash as “one of the biggest we have had for years.”

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“We cannot imagine that such an accident can happen here,” he said.

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The two drivers of the trains appeared to be among the dead, although identification of the victims was still in progress, according to a statement from Transdev, the parent company of train company Meridian.

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Upper Bavaria police tweeted Wednesday that no passengers were unaccounted for. Police had earlier said that they believed as many as two passengers were missing.

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