German train crash: Dispatcher was playing game

2016-04-12 22:05

A file picture of the site where two trains collided head-on near Bad Aibling, Germany. (AP)

A file picture of the site where two trains collided head-on near Bad Aibling, Germany. (AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Berlin - A German rail dispatcher was playing an online game on his cellphone shortly before two trains he was in charge of collided on a single-track line, killing 11 people, prosecutors said on Tuesday.

The unnamed dispatcher was arrested on suspicion of negligent homicide, prosecutors in the Bavarian town of Traunstein said in a statement.

The two trains were filled with commuters when they collided head-on on February 9 near the town of Bad Aibling, about 60km southeast of Munich. It was one of Germany's worst rail accidents in recent history.

Prosecutors said the man had been actively playing the game on his cellphone for "an extended period of time" until shortly before the crash. Rail dispatcher rules forbid the use of personal cellphones at work.

"Due to the close timing it must be assumed that the accused was distracted from controlling the cross-traffic of the trains," the statement said. This likely led the dispatcher to give the trains the wrong signals and then, once he noticed his error, to fumble the emergency call by pressing the wrong combination of buttons, meaning the train drivers were unable to hear it, prosecutors said.

The man acknowledged during questioning that he had played a game, but denied having been distracted by this, they said.

So far, investigators haven't been able to find any indication of a technical problem that might have caused or contributed to the crash, prosecutors said.

Read more on:    germany

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.