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10 dead, 17 critically injured after head-on train crash in Germany

Ten people are dead, 17 are critically injured and one person is missing after a head-on collision between two trains in Germany's southern state of Bavaria, police said Tuesday. At least 63 people on board suffered less serious injuries, police said. They said there were about 150 passengers on board the two trains. The crash occurred shortly before 7 a.m. Tuesday local time near the spa town of Bad Aibling, about 60 kilometers (37 miles) southeast of the Bavarian capital of Munich.

The trains collided at a bend on the Mangfall Valley Railway, a single-track regional rail line between the towns of Rosenheim and Holzkirchen, German Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt said. "There's a curve there, so we must assume that the train drivers must not have been able to see each other beforehand," he told reporters at a news conference. One of the trains had "drilled" into the other, he said, leaving a carriage "totally dismantled."

He described the scene as a "horrible picture," saying it was estimated the trains had been traveling about 100 kph (62 mph) at the moment of impact. "This is a difficult hour for the railways in Germany," said Dobrindt, describing the crash as "one of the biggest we have had for years." "We cannot imagine that such an accident can happen here," he said.

The two drivers of the trains appeared to be among the dead, although identification of the victims was still in progress, according to a statement from Transdev, the parent company of train company Meridian.

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