An express train from Munich collided with a passenger train in the Czech Republic. At least three people were killed in the accident, the CTK agency reported Wednesday, citing rescue teams. Thirty-eight people were injured, seven of them in critical condition, it added. Dozens of rescue personnel and four helicopters were deployed to the scene to treat the injured and transport them to hospitals.
According to the Czech Railways, the accident occurred at around 08:00 local time (06:00 GMT) near the border with German Bavaria, when an express train from Munich (Germany) collided with a commuter train.
“Two trains collided between the Domazlice and Blízejov stations. We regret to say that there are more injured on the ground,” the railway company communicated via Twitter in a short message.
According to CTK, seven of the injured are in critical condition, admitted to a hospital.
“The situation is serious, I cancel the entire program and go to the scene of the accident,” announced the Czech Minister of Transport, Karel Havlicek, in a tweet.
He added that the first reports suggest that the Munich-Prague Ex 351 express train missed a stop signal in Domazlice, and then collided with the RegioShark commuter train that runs on the Pilsen-Domazlice line.
The authorities have closed the railway line and have opened an investigation to clarify the causes of the accident.
Several ambulances and four helicopters have come to the scene to treat the injured and take them to hospitals.
Relief teams from Germany are also involved in the rescue efforts.
Accidents are common on Czech railway lines. Security technology is considered outdated in many places. The government has launched a modernization program. Just a year ago, two trains collided head-on in the Erz Mountains, near the German border. Two people died, including a German.
And 13 years ago in Studenka, about 360 km east of Prague, Czech Republic, on Friday August 8, 2008 there was another train accident. In it 6 people died and another 67 were injured.
On that occasion an international long-distance passenger train, the EuroCity Comenius, crashed into a part of a rebuilt road bridge, which collapsed just before the train arrived.