3 killed in German train crash

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A regional passenger train collided early Friday morning with a maintenance crane in a small town in central Germany, killing three people and injuring more than a dozen others, police said.

The accident happened at around 1 a.m. local time when the Deutsche Bahn passenger train, which was carrying about 35 passengers, collided with a maintenance crane which stood on the same track as the train in the town of Mühlheim am Main, about 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) from the city of Frankfurt.

Offenbach police said three people were killed, including the train driver and two construction workers. "The number of injured has risen to a total of thirteen people," a police spokesman said. "Six people suffered injuries for which they have been treated at hospitals in the surrounding area."

More than 200 emergency workers responded to the scene of the accident, but it took until late Friday morning before the three bodies could be removed from the wreckage. "The railway line in question is still blocked," the spokesman said. "The salvage and clean-up operations are continuing."

The cause of the accident was not immediately known but is being investigated by federal police, Offenbach prosecutors and employees of the country's railway accident investigation authority. Trains in Germany are allowed to travel at speeds up to 140 kilometers (86.9 miles) per hour.

In January 2011, ten people were killed and 33 others were injured when a regional passenger train collided with a freight train near Magdeburg in eastern Germany. And in 2006, a maglev train collided with a maintenance vehicle in north-western Germany, killing 23 people.

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