"This is the biggest accident we have had in years in this region," said a German police rep of a deadly head-on collision involving two regional trains around 7am local time today. German police say the death toll in Bad Aibling, Bavaria, has risen to nine, with the ninth body still being removed from the train; another 150 were injured, including 50 severely. All survivors have now been taken to safety and investigators are beginning to look through the wreckage. The Guardian reports that the drivers of both trains are dead, and it's as of yet unclear why they were simultaneously using the same stretch of track in opposite directions.
Further complicating matters, the stretch of line on which the two trains crashed is squeezed between the Mangfall river on one side and a forest on the other, which is making rescue operations very difficult. The AP reports that rescue helicopters were carrying people on a rope across the Mangfall to ambulances waiting on the other side, four hours after the two trains crashed head-on. Local media reported that the rail line is used by commuters going to Munich for work; the city is located about 40 miles from the accident site. Usually schoolchildren also take the trains, but they are currently on winter vacation.