When two passenger trains collided on a route through the Ore Mountains between the Czech Republic and Germany, two people were killed and more than 20 injured.
A German is among the fatalities. A spokeswoman for the police in Karlovy Vary said in the evening and thus confirmed a report by the Central German radio. A Czech also died in the collision.
Accident in a wooded area
According to the emergency services, 9 people were seriously injured and 13 were slightly injured. The accident site in a forest near the community of Pernink was extremely difficult for the rescue workers to access.
One train was traveling on the single-track route from the West Bohemian spa town of Karlsbad to the Saxon town of Johanngeorgenstadt, the other in the opposite direction.
The winding and hilly route leads over the Erzgebirge ridge. The two trains should actually only cross at the next train station. The police arrested one of the two train drivers.
Suspected negligent danger to the general public
A spokeswoman for the German Press Agency said the suspicion was of negligent threat to the general public. He is said to have left too early.
The emergency services were on site with a large contingent. The fire brigade had to carry the injured on foot to the next train station because of the inaccessible area. Several rescue helicopters were used, including one from neighboring Saxony, to bring the seriously injured to clinics in the region. These were put on alert.
Driver areas completely demolished
The photos showed that the two driver areas were completely demolished. The surrounding forest was searched for injuries who might have run away in shock. Czech Transport Minister Karel Havlicek rushed to the scene of the accident in the evening.
He was “deeply dismayed”, he wrote on Twitter and called for comprehensive information. The operation on the route is carried out in the so-called simplified branch line operation, that is, without special safety devices. (dpa)