At least four people have been killed and 16 seriously injured after a train derailed in southern Germany, authorities have confirmed.
The regional train service travelling to Munich derailed shortly after midday close to the municipality of Burgrain, according to police. Many of the passengers on the train were children, with the crash taking place shortly after schools had closed for the weekend. Fifteen German soldiers onboard helped to coordinate initial rescues attempts before emergency teams arrived.
Germany’s transport minister, Volker Wissing, called the accident a “catastrophe”, and promised a full investigation into how the events unfolded.
During a visit to the scene, Bavaria’s interior minister Joachim Herrmann told reporters that four people had died, all adult women, whilst 16 had serious injuries. Around 140 people are understood to have received medical attention for minor injuries. Herrmann confirmed that there are no more passengers still awaiting rescue.
It is not immediately clear what caused the train to derail, and a police spokesperson confirmed the track would remain closed until a reason had been identified and rectified if necessary. A section of the neighboring highway has also been closed off, with traffic diverted.