German train crash which killed 11 result of dispatcher error, official says

A German official says a combination of two blunders by a dispatcher appears to have led to a train crash that killed 11 people in Bavaria in February.

Drivers never heard warning message

Wreaths are placed in front of two crashed trains near Bad Aibling in southwestern Germany on Feb. 10. Eleven people were killed and dozens injured when two passenger trains collided head-on at high speed in the remote countryside in southern Germany. (Lukas Barth/Reuters)

A German official says a combination of two blunders by a dispatcher appears to have led to a train crash that killed 11 people in Bavaria in February.

Two commuter trains collided on a single-track line near Bad Aibling Feb. 9. Investigators opened a criminal investigation against the dispatcher who they believe sent a wrong signal to the trains.

Bavaria's interior minister, Joachim Herrmann, told Tuesday's edition of Bild daily that when the dispatcher noticed his first mistake he tried to radio a warning to the drivers "but, possibly because he was agitated, he pressed the wrong button."

Herrmann said the message went to other dispatchers instead. The man then sent a second message to the drivers: "This time he pressed the right button, but it was already too late."

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