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German Rail Collision: Investigators Face ‘Long and Complex Investigation’

MAINZ, Germany — Investigators were working Wednesday to determine what caused a high-speed collision between two commuter trains in southern Germany that left 10 people dead and scores wounded.

Officials were facing a "long and complex investigation" into whether human error or technical fault caused the crash near Bad Aibling on Tuesday, a statement from local police said.

Like most German railway lines, the track was fitted with a safety measure designed to force trains heading toward each other to brake.

The trains were supposed to pass at a station where the track divided — instead they slammed into each other on a curve, meaning their drivers would likely not have seen each other until it was too late, according to The Associated Press.

German Commuter Trains in Deadly Head-On Collision 0:28

Around 100 rescue workers and a huge crane began remove the wreckage Wednesday from the hard-to-reach track that runs between a wood and a river, the AP reported.

Meanwhile, police in Bavaria said nine of the dead were men aged between 24 and 49 from Germany's southwest. The identity of 10th person was "not full clear yet," police added in a statement.

Some of the 17 people severely injured were in a "serious condition" in hospital, but some of the scores lightly wounded were able to return home, according to police.