‘Human Error’ Caused German Train Crash


A head-on train crash in southern Germany last week which killed 11 people was probably caused by human error, say prosecutors.

German Train Crash

The commuter trains collided on a single track near Bad Aibling, around 40 miles southeast of Munich on 9 February. Dozens of passengers were injured.

Chief prosecutor Wolfgang Giese said a train dispatcher’s actions were to blame and a criminal investigation had been launched against the 39-year-old.

He told a news conference on Tuesday: “If he had complied with the rules … then there would have been no collision between the trains.

“There is no evidence of technical problems … our investigation shows that this was human error with catastrophic consequences.”

It is thought the dispatcher, whose job involves directing rail traffic and ensuring safety on the tracks, sent a wrong signal to the trains.

When he noticed his mistake, he tried to alert the drivers using an emergency call, but failed to prevent the crash.

He was not under the influence of alcohol or drugs, prosecutors said.

Investigators plan to reconstruct the collision to test their theory.

Fellow prosecutor Juergen Branz added: “What we have at the moment is a terrible error in this particular situation.”

Several carriages overturned and the trains were left partially derailed and wedged into each other.

Around 500 people were pulled from the wreckage – and two of the trains’ three black boxes recovered.

If convicted, the dispatcher, who has not been named, faces up to five years in prison.

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