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Railway Still Closed After Crash

German rail officials say they are unlikely to have service resumed before Monday afternoon after an accident in which a passenger train collided with a maintenance crane in a small town in central Germany leaving three people dead and 13 injured.

The accident happened when the Deutsche Bahn passenger train which was carrying about 35 passengers collided with a maintenance crane which stood on the same track as the train arrived at the town of Muehlheim am Main, about 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) from the city of Frankfurt. Six of those injured are still critical and many of the others have broken bones.

The force of the collision drove the maintenance crane several feet into the nose of the passenger train and over the weekend the two wrecked vehicles were lifted from the tracks and placed in a nearby meadow where accident investigators were arranging for them to be moved at some stage over the coming week. The accident damaged 500 metres of track which is currently being replaced.

Police said that the locomotive driving the passenger train had been at the rear of the train and had been pushing the carriages, although the steering cabin for the train had been at the front where the driver had been located when the train hit the crane.

Local police confirmed three people were killed, including the train driver and two construction workers.

More than 200 emergency workers attended the accident, and the cause was not immediately known. The train was believed to have been travelling at around
60 kilometres (37 miles) an hour - well below the maximum limit for trains in Germany which are allowed to travel up to 140 kilometers (86.9 miles) per hour.

A special recording device that kept track of speed at the time of the incident and which is similar to the black box found on an aeroplane had still not been recovered at the weekend because of the severe damage to the cab.

In January 2011, ten people were killed and 33 others were injured when a regional passenger train collided with a freight train near Magdeburg in eastern Germany. And in 2006, a maglev train collided with a maintenance vehicle in north-western Germany, killing 23 people.

German Herald

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