One dead and dozens injured after Flixbus overturns near Leipzig

One person died and dozens of passengers were injured after a Flixbus overturned on an Autobahn near Leipzig, eastern Germany.

One dead and dozens injured after Flixbus overturns near Leipzig
The scene of the Flixbus crash on Sunday. Photo: DPA

The coach was travelling from Berlin to Munich on Sunday afternoon at the time of the crash. It veered off the road and overturned on Autobahn 9, around 5:30 pm.

A total of 74 passengers and one driver were on board the coach at the time. One person died in the incident, while all other passengers were injured. Nine people were seriously injured.

A spokesman for police in Weißenfels said on Monday that some of the injuries sustained by passengers were life threatening.

The road was closed for several hours on Sunday night in both directions as the rescue mission and clean-up got underway.

The road was closed during the rescue and clean up. Photo: DPA

Around midnight, police opened the road in the direction of Berlin. Early Monday morning the road was opened in the direction of Munich.

According to local media, including broadcaster RBB and DPA, early indications show that the driver may have momentarily fallen asleep at the wheel, according to transport police.

However, investigations are continuing into the cause of the crash.

According to police, the bus overturned between the Leipzig-West and Bad Dürrenberg junctions. The Flixbus vehicle then remained on its side. No other vehicle was involved in the crash.

Several helicopters and – according to broadcaster MDR – more than 50 ambulances were used to rescue those injured. A rescue tent was set up near the scene to help those with less serious injuries, while others were rushed to the hospital.

The coach on its side. Photo: DPA

A 24-year-old student, who was on the coach, said he saw fragments of the bus in the air when it happened, reported Bavarian news outlet TZ.

“It all happened relatively quickly,” he said. Passengers reached for the emergency hammers and smashed the windows to get outside. Fortunately, the student only suffered a small laceration on his head. He praised the emergency services for helping victims so quickly.

In the evening, Flixbus confirmed that the bus had been travelling between Berlin and Munich. The company set up a hotline for concerned relatives to call.

Emergency workers at the scene. Photo: DPA

“Our deepest sympathies go out to the passengers and bus driver affected, as well as to their families and friends,” the company added.

Relatives of affected passengers can contact the free telephone number 0800 30013730 for more information, Flixbus said.

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Is Leipzig really Germany’s ‘ultimate travel destination’?

The Saxonian city of Leipzig has been named by traveller’s bible Lonely Planet as its “ultimate” travel tip for Germany. Does the Local Germany’s knowledgeable readership agree?

The city centre of Leipzig.
The city centre of Leipzig. Photo: Jan Woitas/dpa-Zentralbild

Long a cult favourite among Germany fans, the left-wing city of Leipzig appears to now be gaining mainstream recognition after the Lonely Planet crowned it the country’s top travel destination this week.

In a new book titled “Ultimate German Travel Destinations – the top 250”, the travel publisher put Leipzig ahead of picturesque getaways such as Lake Constance and the Zugspitze as its number one destination.

“The hype that some say surrounds the city isn’t hype t all: Leipzig really is hipper than Berlin, and hotter than Munich, especially among millennials,” the guidebook boldly claims.

It goes on to lavish praise on the city of 600,000 inhabitants as “young, exciting, multifaceted – sometimes colourful, sometimes grey – and with a vibrant liveliness.”

“Everyone wants to go to the city where the anti-GDR demonstrations started,” the guidebook continues. “It is the home of Auerbachs Keller (made famous by Goethe and Faust); it’s the city of street art and wave gothic festivals; and its artistic scene at the Baumwollspinnerei is second to none.”

READ ALSO: A love letter to the eastern German city of Leipzig

‘Not cooler than Berlin’

Reaction to the list among the Local’s readership was mixed.

“It is a beautiful city and it’s easy to navigate. I find it hard to say that it’s cooler than Berlin, though. Berlin simply has more,” one reader told us on Facebook. “It’s the kind of place where people find their ‘spot.” I think most people in Leipzig know about most places in Leipzig. It’s a much smaller city. That may just be a more favourable lifestyle for some.”

Praise for Saxony’s biggest city ranged from admiration for the beauty of its architecture (particularly its train station) to the vibrancy of its arts scene.

Others suggested that Leipzig is indeed overhyped and that it can’t compete with natural wonders such as the pristine Königssee in the Bavarian Alps.

Lake Constance wins silver

Lake Constance, the country’s largest body of fresh water, came in second on the list.

The authors praised the southern See, which borders Switzerland and Austria, for “the many beautiful spots on its shores: Lindau, Meersburg, Überlingen, Constance and more – often surrounded by lush orchards.”

A regatta on the Bodensee in September 2021. Photo: dpa | Felix Kästle 

Hamburg’s new Elbphilharmonie concert hall came in third. 

“It’s impossible to imagine the Hanseatic city’s skyline without this glass work of art, which soars into the sky above the harbour like a frozen wave,” the book notes.

Also in the top ten were the Wattenmeer, which is a huge nature reserve on the North Sea coast, Berlin’s museum island, the sandstone hills of Saxony, and Germany’s highest peak, the Zugspitze in Bavaria.