Regional train near Garmisch-Partenkirchen after the accident
Photo: DOMINIK BARTL / AFP
According to the current state of investigation, damaged concrete sleepers were the main cause of the fatal train accident in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. This is the conclusion of an interim report by the Federal Bureau of Railway Accident Investigation (BEU).
When a regional train to Munich derailed on June 3 last year, five people died, 78 were injured, 16 of them seriously. Since then, research has been carried out into how this accident could have happened.
In the interim report, the accident investigators cite a "defect in the superstructure" of the railway line as the primary cause of the derailment of the regional train. The prestressed concrete sleepers laid at the scene of the accident would have shown damage that would have caused the so-called rail supports to break away as links between rail and concrete. "This is what is currently secured," a BEU spokesman said on Thursday. "However, the investigations into the cause of the accident are much more extensive and are ongoing."
Deutsche Bahn replaces hundreds of thousands of concrete sleepers
In the interim report, the authority also emphasizes that its investigations did not serve to establish fault, to clarify questions of liability or other civil law claims. The Munich II public prosecutor's office recently investigated four accused railway employees on suspicion of negligent homicide.
Deutsche Bahn announced on Wednesday that it would replace around 480,000 concrete sleepers after the accident. The cause of the accident has not yet been conclusively clarified, it said. "According to the current state of knowledge, there are many indications that concrete sleepers could at least have been the cause of the accident." For this reason, the company has been checking sleepers with a certain rock mixture for months and replacing them if necessary. The Group always points out that this is done as a precautionary measure.