Three dead and dozens injured after passenger trains collide in Czech Republic

Three dead and dozens injured after passenger trains collide in Czech Republic

Three people were killed and dozens more injured when two trains crashed in the Czech Republic on Wednesday morning.

Police said the crash happened at about 8am local time in Milavce, a town in the west of the country. In an early-afternoon update, officers said a third person had died after the initial death toll was reported as two.

Helicopters and ambulances rushed to the scene near Milavce, close to the border with Germany, as the tragedy unfolded shortly after 8am local time.

Four people who were seriously injured were airlifted to hospital and seven others required surgery, while 31 were injured lightly in the crash near the western Czech town of Domazlice.

Czech Railways said an international high-speed train connecting the western Czech city of Plzen with Munich in Germany and a local passenger train were involved in the collision.

Transport Minister Karel Havlicek said that human error likely caused the crash. He said the driver of the high-speed train ‘went through a signal indicating Stop…and collided with a passenger train’.

‘The situation is serious,’ he added.

Rescuers from Germany helped as injured passengers were assessed and removed from carriages.

TV footage on Czech Television showed the smashed driver’s cabin of the fast train’s locomotive, as well as the front part of the local train. Both trains remained upright on or near the tracks.

Czech Police confirmed on Twitter that two people died in the aftermath of the crash. A third person was later confirmed dead.

Earlier, Commander Jaroslav Hrdlicka of the regional fire department said on Czech Television that rescue workers were still looking for one missing person in the wreckage.

A spokesperson for Czech railways said an investigation would get underway as soon as the rescue operation was finished.