10 Killed in German Train Collision

Ten people died when a regional passenger train collided with a goods train late Saturday in eastern Germany, police and firemen said.

Up to 20 other people were seriously injured in the accident which happened at Hordorf near Oschersleben, in Saxony-Anhalt, firemen and police said. They gave differing numbers.

About 20 others suffered minor injuries, according to firemen. A total of 40 people were evacuated to hospitals, a police spokesman said.

Contrary to earlier reports from police the trains did not catch fire, according to fire service officials. The passenger train derailed and landed on its side.

No images of the accident scene were shown on German television in the hours following the drama.

More than 150 firemen, police and rescue workers were at the scene.

A few hours after the accident they were working under arc lights around the passenger train, according to an Agence France Presse photographer at the scene. Several ambulances were waiting.

The regional train was the HarzElbeExpress (HEX) traveling between Magdeburg and Halberstadt.

The causes of the accident were not immediately known, Joerg Puchmueller, the northeast region spokesman for the Veolia group which runs the HEX line, told AFP.

There is a single line running between Magdeburg and Halberstadt and maintenance work was scheduled for the night, the HEX website said.

Traffic was interrupted on the line and bus shuttles were set up, a HEX staff member said contacted by telephone.

The Veolia spokesman said the train had a capacity of about 100 but could not say how many were on board at the time of the collision.

The goods train also belonged to a private company.