One person killed and several injured in train collision near Munich

One person was killed and around 18 people were injured - five of them seriously - on Monday when two commuter trains collided near Munich in southern Germany, police said.

The scene near Ebenhausen-Schäftlarn station, in the Munich district, on Tuesday morning
The scene near Ebenhausen-Schäftlarn station, in the Munich district, on Tuesday morning. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Matthias Balk

A 24-year-old passenger died in the crash, a spokesperson for Munich police said late on Monday. 

At least 18 people were injured – five of them seriously. They were rushed to hospital. 

The two train drivers are among those who are seriously injured, reported Bavarian broadcaster BR24. Around 25 passengers from the two S-Bahn trains were treated as outpatients. A total of 95 people were in the carriages at the time of the collision. 

The cause of the crash, which happened at around 4.40pm, is not yet clear.

The extent of the damage can be seen following the crash. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Matthias Balk

Images in local media showed passengers standing next to the track after the collision, with partially derailed carriages visible.

“One person died and there are injured people – in the double-digit range,” a Munich police spokesman told AFP

 Another 14 people were injured, a police spokeswoman told AFP.

The crash occurred near the S-Bahn urban rail station of Ebenhausen-Schäftlarn, southwest of Munich, with the two commuter trains apparently slamming into each other head-on.

 More than 200 rescue workers and police were at the scene by the early evening, the police spokesman said.

One injured person was initially trapped inside a carriage but was later freed, he added.

A crane is in use at the scene of the accident.

A crane at the scene of the accident. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Matthias Balk

Germany’s top-selling Bild newspaper had earlier reported that a train driver was trapped in the mangled wreckage.

The stretch of track in Germany’s Bavaria region was closed off after the incident, with rail replacement bus services running.

Rescue teams at the scene on Monday. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Matthias Balk

Passengers on board the trains told the Merkur newspaper that they felt a loud bang and were thrown forward.

German rail operator Deutsche Bahn said the relevant authorities had opened an investigation.

“No assessment can be made about the cause of the accident at this moment,” it said in a statement.

“Our deepest sympathies go out to the relatives of the victim of the accident. We wish the injured a speedy and full recovery,” added Heiko Büttner, head of S-Bahn Munich.

Bavarian premier Markus Söder expressed dismay at the “terrible news” and thanked the rescue workers for their “quick action”.

According to local radio, two S-Bahn trains nearly collided in the same area last August, but both drivers were able to brake in time.

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Bavaria moves to ban cannabis at Oktoberfest and beer gardens

Germany may have legalised cannabis, but anyone hoping to enjoy a joint with their beer at this year's Oktoberfest may be disappointed.

Bavaria moves to ban cannabis at Oktoberfest and beer gardens

The southern state of Bavaria on Tuesday announced that it wants to ban the consumption of cannabis in beer gardens, at public festivals, on restaurant terraces and in some parks. 

The state government wants to “limit the public consumption of cannabis despite the federal government’s dangerous legalisation law”, according to a statement.

Clemens Baumgaertner, the head of the Oktoberfest, told the news portal he specifically wants to make the festival a weed-free zone.

“A family festival like the (Oktoberfest) and cannabis consumption don’t go together,” he said.

Meanwhile, Bavaria state premier Markus Söder, of the CSU, tweeted that Bavaria was strengthening the protection of children and young people. 

“We will ban smoking weed in beer gardens and at public festivals,” he said. “In addition, local authorities will be able to prohibit smoking and vaping of cannabis products in public areas where large numbers of people regularly congregate, for example at tourist attractions, outdoor swimming pools and amusement parks.”

On April 1st, Germany became the largest EU nation to legalise recreational use of cannabis, despite fierce objections from opposition politicians and medical associations.

READ ALSO: What to know about Germany’s partial legalisation of cannabis

Under the first step in the much-debated new law, adults over 18 are now allowed to carry 25 grams of dried cannabis and cultivate up to three marijuana plants at home.

However, cannabis will remain banned for under-18s and within 100 metres of schools, kindergartens and playgrounds.

The changes leave Germany with some of the most liberal cannabis laws in Europe, alongside Malta and Luxembourg, which legalised recreational use in 2021 and 2023 respectively.

But under Germany’s federal system, each state retains a degree of freedom to decide how it will impose the rules.

Bavaria plans to amend the state Health Protection Act to limit how cannabis can be legally consumed. 

Politicians also plan a ban on consumption in the Englisher Garten, Hofgarten and Finanzgarten in Munich as well as the Hofgarten in Bayreuth.

The amended law is to be presented before the Whitsun holidays, which begin in mid-May this year. It is not yet clear when the law could be passed by the state parliament.

SPD legal expert in the Bavarian state parliament, Horst Arnold, criticised this  approach as “cannabis hysteria”.

With reporting by Rachel Loxton