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Germany: A Train Derailment kills several people

At least four people were killed and about 30 injured when a train derailed in Germany's south-eastern state of Bavaria, police say.

It is unclear what caused the accident, which occurred as the train rounded a wide bend, but Bavaria's transport minister, Christian Bernreiter, told regional broadcaster BR that the accident may have been the result of a technical fault.

Germany's deadliest rail crash in modern times occurred in 1998 when a high-speed train derailed in Eschede in Lower Saxony, killing 101 people.

Local emergency officials say nobody was injured in the incident, which saw the train's back carriage come off the tracks as it neared the Serenissima tunnel in Rome.

The accident comes as Germany launched a new discounted rail ticket and Mr. Sonntag said the regional train was "very crowded and many people were using it, hence the high number of injured".

Emergency workers had to use ladders to climb down through windows to reach survivors trapped in upended carriages and officials said that people had been "pulled through the windows" to rescue them from the wreckage. An official from the Garmisch-Partenkirchen local authority had initially suggested that some 60 people had been injured, but Stefan Sonntag, a spokesperson for the German federal police, said that figure referred to the number of passengers on the train.

"There were no third parties involved here, so one must assume that some technical reason - either on the vehicle or on the rail - was the cause," he said.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz expressed shock at the incident and said his sympathy was with the families of the victims.

Six helicopters, including three scrambled from the Austrian region of Tyrol, were sent to the scene to assist in rescue efforts. He told local media the accident had been "just awful - suddenly the train overturned".

Investigators say they are working to establish what caused the accident. The accident happened at around 13:15 local time (11:15 GMT) on Friday, shortly after the train left Garmisch-Partenkirchen for Munich.

Part of the route between Munich and Garmisch-Partenkirchen has been blocked off and traffic has been diverted, German rail operator Deutsche Bahn says.

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