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MUNICH

One person killed and several injured in train collision near Munich

One person was killed and around 18 people were injured - five of them seriously - on Monday when two commuter trains collided near Munich in southern Germany, police said.

The scene near Ebenhausen-Schäftlarn station, in the Munich district, on Tuesday morning
The scene near Ebenhausen-Schäftlarn station, in the Munich district, on Tuesday morning. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Matthias Balk

A 24-year-old passenger died in the crash, a spokesperson for Munich police said late on Monday. 

At least 18 people were injured – five of them seriously. They were rushed to hospital. 

The two train drivers are among those who are seriously injured, reported Bavarian broadcaster BR24. Around 25 passengers from the two S-Bahn trains were treated as outpatients. A total of 95 people were in the carriages at the time of the collision. 

The cause of the crash, which happened at around 4.40pm, is not yet clear.

The extent of the damage can be seen following the crash. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Matthias Balk

Images in local media showed passengers standing next to the track after the collision, with partially derailed carriages visible.

“One person died and there are injured people – in the double-digit range,” a Munich police spokesman told AFP

 Another 14 people were injured, a police spokeswoman told AFP.

The crash occurred near the S-Bahn urban rail station of Ebenhausen-Schäftlarn, southwest of Munich, with the two commuter trains apparently slamming into each other head-on.

 More than 200 rescue workers and police were at the scene by the early evening, the police spokesman said.

One injured person was initially trapped inside a carriage but was later freed, he added.

A crane is in use at the scene of the accident.

A crane at the scene of the accident. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Matthias Balk

Germany’s top-selling Bild newspaper had earlier reported that a train driver was trapped in the mangled wreckage.

The stretch of track in Germany’s Bavaria region was closed off after the incident, with rail replacement bus services running.

Rescue teams at the scene on Monday. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Matthias Balk

Passengers on board the trains told the Merkur newspaper that they felt a loud bang and were thrown forward.

German rail operator Deutsche Bahn said the relevant authorities had opened an investigation.

“No assessment can be made about the cause of the accident at this moment,” it said in a statement.

“Our deepest sympathies go out to the relatives of the victim of the accident. We wish the injured a speedy and full recovery,” added Heiko Büttner, head of S-Bahn Munich.

Bavarian premier Markus Söder expressed dismay at the “terrible news” and thanked the rescue workers for their “quick action”.

According to local radio, two S-Bahn trains nearly collided in the same area last August, but both drivers were able to brake in time.

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CRIME

Nurse jailed for life over German insulin murders

A Polish healthcare worker was sentenced to life in prison in Germany on Tuesday for killing at least three people with insulin, in a case that recalls that of serial killer nurse Niels Högel.

Nurse jailed for life over German insulin murders
The defendant in court on Tuesday. Photo: DPA

The defendant, named by prosecutors as Grzegorz Stanislaw W., 38, was handed the highest possible sentence in Germany by a court in Munich and will likely spend the rest of his life behind bars.

He was initially accused of six murders, but the court could not find enough evidence to convict him for three of them.

He was however also found guilty of attempted murder in two cases, as well as dangerous bodily injury and stealing from his victims.

Judge Elisabeth Ehrl said many of Grzegorz Stanislaw W.'s patients and their families had been suspicious of him, with one elderly man threatening to jump out of the window if the man came near him.

“Maria, he is the devil,” one of the murder victims told his housekeeper shortly before his death.

But the court heard that although hesitant about keeping him in their employ, the families were forced to keep him on due to the urgency of their needs.

Grzegorz Stanislaw W. had refused to speak during the trial, but apologised on Tuesday to the victims' relatives and expressed regret. “What I did was very brutal and remains brutal,” he said.

Prosecutors accused him of injecting his patients with insulin, which can be lethal in large doses, and then robbing them.

He had access to the drug because he had diabetes.

He visited the homes of at least 69 patients in several German cities from Bavaria in the south to Hanover in the north between April 2017 and February 2018.

Prosecutors said he hated his job and committed one of the murders in order to avoid being sacked.

The court also heard that he had been convicted of fraud in Poland and was in prison between 2008 and 2014.

The case has brought back memories of Niels Högel, a German nurse sentenced to life in prison last year for murdering 85 patients.

Högel, believed to be Germany's most prolific serial killer, murdered patients with lethal injections between 2000 and 2005, before he was eventually caught in the act.

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