SHARE
COPY LINK

BAVARIA

Germany opens probe against rail staff over deadly crash

German police said Tuesday they had opened an investigation on suspicion of criminally negligent homicide against three railway employees following a train derailment last week that cost five lives.

Police officers stand on the track in Garmisch-Partenkirchen where the train derailed.
Police officers stand on the track in Garmisch-Partenkirchen where the train derailed. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Angelika Warmuth

The Upper Bavaria police department said prosecutors in the state capital of Munich had ordered the criminal probe over the crash of the packed regional train on Friday.

The accident occurred near the Alpine resort Garmisch-Partenkirchen, an area gearing up to host the G7 summit in late June.

The investigation is targeting “three (national railway company) Deutsche Bahn staff members on suspicion of offences including criminally negligent homicide”.

Police provided no further details on the case against the suspects.

READ ALSO:

Public broadcaster Bayerischer Rundfunk (BR) said investigators probing the cause of the accident were focusing on possible technical defects in the undercarriage of some of the cars, as well as the railway itself.

German media reported at the weekend that Deutsche Bahn had planned maintenance work on the route beginning on June 25th. The company declined to comment.

The crash killed four adult women – two Germans and two Ukrainians – as well as a German teenager aged 14.

More than 40 passengers were hurt, one of whom is still in a critical condition, police said.

The accident occurred just after midday on Friday as school holidays were starting in the two southern German regions Baden-Wuerttemberg and Bavaria.

Police said the regional train was “very crowded” with about 140 people on board as a new €9 monthly public transport ticket valid across Germany also boosted demand.

The train had just left Garmisch-Partenkirchen for Munich when the accident took place in the Burgrain district.

From June 26-28th, heads of state and government including US President Joe Biden are due to meet at Schloss Elmau — 11 kilometres (seven miles) from Garmisch-Partenkirchen.

BR quoted Bavarian interior minister Joachim Herrmann as saying there was “no indication” that the accident could have been caused by an attack on the rails by G7 protesters in the run-up to the summit.

“We can’t rule anything out entirely but based on the investigation so far, nothing points in that direction,” he said.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

POLITICS

IN PICTURES: Germany hosts G7 summit with Bavarian twist

G7 leaders are meeting in Bavaria to discuss important issues including Russia's war on Ukraine and the food crisis. The event is known for producing memorable pictures. Here's a look at the best images and tweets so far.

IN PICTURES: Germany hosts G7 summit with Bavarian twist

You’ll need to pause your ad blockers to see all the content on this story

The Group of Seven wealthy nations is holding their annual summit in the stunning surroundings of the Bavarian Alps. 

The world leaders are engaged in talks at the Schloss Elmau with a focus on Russia’s war on Ukraine, climate change, energy, the global food crisis and rising inflation. 

The G7 gatherings are known known for producing some memorable photos and amusing moments, and this year is no exception. Here’s a look at the best so far. 

When the G7 summit started on Sunday, the southern state of Bavaria became the standout attraction. 

Leaders of the nations involved – Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the USA – were given traditional Bavarian welcomes. 

Spearheaded by Bavarian premier Markus Söder, the leaders were greeted by people clad in Bavarian costumes, such as the dirndl. 

It sparked heated debates on how Germany is portrayed to the rest of the world.  

READ ALSO: Can Scholz create a Merkel-like buzz at the G7 in Bavaria?

Journalist Mathieu von Rohr said on Twitter: “It’s hard to imagine what Söder would have done to Germany’s image in the world as chancellor.”

Justin Trudeau, the Prime Minister of Canada, walks past people wearing traditional Bavarian costumes after his arrival at Munich airport on June 26th. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Daniel Karmann

Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, walks past people wearing traditional Bavarian costume after his arrival at Munich airport on June 26th.

The left wing newspaper Taz on Monday led with a front page that included this headline: “Finally, indigenous peoples at the G7 summit”.

READ ALSO: Why Bavaria does politics differently to the rest of Germany

The photo of US President Joe Biden signing his name in the Bavarian guest book to Germany produced lots of good captions. 

Nathan Ma poked fun at Germany’s infamous overly complicated contracts that are hard to get out of.

Commentators in Germany have also been making their views known about the events at the summit. 

German broadcaster BR said in an opinion article that the opening G7 event was “like a Monty Python sketch”.

Writer Max Büch said: “Yes, it’s embarrassing that Joe Biden is being coerced by Markus Söder to sign the guestbook at the airport.”

He added: “But people in traditional costume are not embarrassing per se. Even if taz’s ‘indigenous peoples at the G7 summit’ is meant satirically, the title hits a very true core of the image that the rest of Germany still has of Bavaria.”

The southern German traditions continued with Schuhplattler, a traditional style of folk dance popular in the regions of Bavaria and Tyrol. 

“Bavaria makes up perhaps 10 percent of Germany,” one journalist said in another tweet on the Schuhplattler video. “But 90 percent of people abroad think this is all of us.

Bavarian premier Markus Söder defended the opening ceremony. 

He said on Twitter: “Bavaria is the land of homeland and custom: many thanks to our traditional costume associations, musicians and mountain riflemen for their support in welcoming the G7 heads of state. They present the Free State and our traditions with great pride. It was a great backdrop.”

Like every year, the pictures of G7 leaders joking around and getting up, close and personal have also been commented on.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz signals to the other G7 leaders during a photo shoot at Elmau. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Michael Kappeler
 
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz signals to the other G7 leaders during a photo shoot at Elmau.
 
We’d love to be a fly on the wall for the private conversations being held between the leaders. Here German Chancellor Olaf Scholz looks on in amusement at British Prime Minister Boris Johnson at Elmau on June 26th. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Peter Kneffel

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson at Elmau on June 26th.

The lack of women G7 leaders was also commented on. 

SHOW COMMENTS