At least 10 people have been killed after two trains crashed into each other on a single railway track in Bavaria, Germany. The passenger trains collided near Bad Aibling, around 40 miles southeast of Munich, at 6.48am local time.
Several carriages overturned and the trains were left partially derailed and wedged into each other.
German transport minister Alexander Dobrindt said the trains had been travelling around a curve and could have been moving at a speed of around 100kmph (62mph) each.
He added: “We expect that both drivers did not have sight contact previously and, therefore, collided without being able to brake or slow down.”
After the crash, hundreds of rescuers from Germany and neighbouring Austria rushed to the site, working in hilly terrain to pull around 500 people from the wreckage.
Ten people have been confirmed dead – including the two train drivers and two conductors, according to local broadcaster Bayerischer Rundfunk.
One people is still missing and more than 80 people were injured – including 18 people who are in a serious condition.
Police say all of those injured have been taken to hospital.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said she is “dismayed and saddened”.
Bernd Rosenbusch, the head of the Bayerische Oberlandbahn, which runs the trains, described the crash as “a huge shock”, adding: “We are doing everything to help the passengers, relatives and employees.”
Mr Dobrindt said it was too early to discuss the cause of the crash but added that two of the trains’ three black boxes had been recovered.
Experts have said the key may lie in the fact that the trains were on a single railway track.
Nigel Harris, managing editor of Rail Magazine, told Sky News: “Experience very sadly tells us that, in these circumstances, more often than not, one of the drivers might have passed a red signal.
“Once that signal has been missed…there is a horrible danger of something coming the other way.”
Mr Dobrindt said the stretch of track was fitted with a safety system designed to automatically stop trains to prevent such a crash and it is not known why this did not work.
Germany’s deadliest post-war train crash was in 1998, when a high-speed ICE train between Munich and Hamburg derailed at the northern town of Eschede, killing 101 people and injuring 88.