Two Ukrainian women were among the tragic victims of a train accident in Germany.
Five people died and dozens were injured after the Munich-bound train derailed around 12:15 p.m. Friday at Burgrain, near the ski resort of Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
Four of the victims are believed to be women between the ages of 32 and 70, including the two Ukrainians who arrived in Germany after fleeing Vladimir Putin’s war.
One of the Ukrainian woman’s sons is believed to be still in hospital with serious injuries after the horrific crash, BILD reports.
A fifth victim, a man, was found under the train on Saturday after initial attempts to lift the derailed carriages failed.
Rescuers had to wait for a heavy crane to be brought to the site.
“At this time, we don’t believe there were any other casualties, but I can’t say for sure yet,” deputy regional police chief Frank Hellwig told reporters.
Footage from the scene showed double-decker cars crumpled on their sides with debris strewn across the tracks as stunned passengers emerged from shattered windows with their suitcases.
Rescuers raced to find survivors in the carnage, with firefighters forced to cut down trees to access the wreckage.
According to reports, there were 140 passengers on board at the time of the derailment.
At least 44 people were injured – including children – and 15 were rushed to hospital with serious injuries, police said.
Many schoolchildren were on the train after breaking up for the holidays on Friday.
Stefan Sonntag of the Upper Bavarian police said the train was “very crowded and many people were using it, hence the high number of injuries”.
The cause of the derailment was not immediately clear, but prosecutors and police are investigating, cops said.
Investigators reportedly ruled out a collision with another train or vehicle.
Bavarian Transport Minister Christian Bernreiter said: “On site, all experts were of the opinion that the most probable cause must be a technical defect on the track or on the train.”
The mountain resort of Garmisch-Partenkirchen and its surrounding areas are currently preparing to host the G7 summit of world leaders later this month.
From June 26 to 28, heads of state and government, including US President Joe Biden, are to meet at Elmau Castle, about 11 kilometers from Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
Cops and soldiers who had been deployed to secure the site before the summit were diverted to help with the rescue operation.
Three helicopters from Austria’s Tyrol region also rushed to the scene, according to reports.
A US soldier who witnessed the crash from a nearby road said the scene was “just horrific”.
He told Garmisch Partenkirchner Tagblatt: “It was terrible. Simply awful. Suddenly the train overturned.
An elderly passenger who survived the crash after rescuers smashed a window and dragged him outside said ‘there was a lot of rumbling and then there was dust’.
A firefighter described the crash scene as “brutal”.
Part of the route between Munich and Garmisch-Partenkirchen has been blocked and traffic diverted, German rail operator Deutsche Bahn said.
Regional trains have seen an increase in passenger numbers since June 1, when a ticket allowing travel throughout Germany came into effect.
Germany’s deadliest rail accident occurred in 1998 when a high-speed train operated by state-owned Deutsche Bahn derailed at Eschede in Lower Saxony, killing 101 people.
The most recent fatal accident took place on February 14 this year when one person was killed and 14 others injured in a crash between two local trains near Munich.
In 2017, a collision between a passenger train and a stationary freight train near the western city of Düsseldorf injured 41 people.
This story originally appeared on The Sun and has been reproduced here with permission.
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