A regional train collided with a truck around 7:40 am at a railroad crossing south of Braunschweig, which caused the first car to derail and land in a nearby field. First reports from fire fighters said that the train car did not overturn in the accident, but large quantities of diesel fuel had leaked from the train. The railway was also heavily damaged in the accident.
According to a Deutsche Bahn spokesperson, the accident occurred at a crossing that was secured by traffic lights and partial barriers.
The 53-year-old truck driver became stuck on the tracks while crossing to deliver some 30-tonnes of wheat to a nearby mill, police told news agency DPA.
Two of the 12 people injured were in serious condition, according to initial reports. The two-car train was travelling at 120 kilometres per hour and carrying about 60 passengers from Braunschweig to Salzgitter.
Recovery efforts are expected to take several hours and the tracks have been closed, Deutsche Bahn said.