At least nine dead, 100 injured after German train collision

It is thought the two drivers could not see each other

Germany, train crash, Bavaria, killed,

Rescue personnel stand at the bank of the small river in front of two trains that crashed head on near Bad Aibling, southern Germany, Tuesday. (AP Photo/Sebastian Stepniewski)

An investigation has been launched after two trains crashed into each other on a single railway track in the German region of Bavaria.

The passenger trains collided near Bad Aibling, around 40 miles southeast of Munich, at 6.48am local time.

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

German transport minister Alexander Dobrindt said the trains had been travelling around a curve and could have been moving at a speed of around 100kmph each.

After the crash, hundreds of rescuers from Germany and neighbouring Austria rushed to the site, working in hilly terrain to pull around 500 people from the wreckage.

Nine people have been confirmed dead and two people are still missing.

Around 100 people were injured - including 15 very seriously hurt and 40 seriously hurt. Police say all of those injured have been taken to hospital.

Bernd Rosenbusch, the head of the Bayerische Oberlandbahn, which runs the trains, described the crash as "a huge shock", adding: "We are doing everything to help the passengers, relatives and employees".

Mr Dobrindt said it was too early to discuss the cause of the crash but added that two of the trains' three blackboxes had been recovered.

Experts have said the key may lie in the fact that the trains were on a single railway track.

Mr Dobrindt said the stretch of track was fitted with a safety system designed to automatically stop trains to prevent such a crash and it is not known why this did not work.

Germany's deadliest post-war train crash was in 1998, when a high-speed ICE train between Munich and Hamburg derailed at the northern town of Eschede, killing 101 people and injuring 88.

The Department of Foreign Affairs says anyone concerned about Irish citizens in Germany can contact the department on 01-4082-527, or the Irish embassy in Berlin at 00-49-30-220-720.

Photos: Matthias Schrader / AP/Press Association Images