At least three dead as train derails near German resort

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At least three people were killed and several others injured on Friday as a train derailed near a Bavarian Alpine resort in southern Germany, police said.

"In the serious train accident, as of 1:55 pm (1155 GMT), three people were fatally injured and an undetermined number of other train passengers hurt," said police in a statement.

Images published by local media showed several crumpled train carriages on their sides.

A rescue operation was ongoing, a police spokesman said.

The train had just left Garmisch-Partenkirchen for Munich, when the accident took place in the Burgrain district of the resort town.

Part of the route between Munich and Garmisch-Partenkirchen has been blocked off and traffic diverted, German rail operator Deutsche Bahn said.

Popular mountain resort Garmisch-Partenkirchen and its surrounding regions are gearing up to host the G7 summit of world leaders later this month.

From June 26-28, the heads of state and government including US President Joe Biden are due to meet at Schloss Elmau -- about 11 kilometres (seven miles) from Garmisch-Partenkirchen.

Police and soldiers who had been deployed to prepare and secure the site ahead of the summit have now also been diverted to help in the rescue operation.

Three helicopters from Austria's Tyrol region have been scrambled to the scene to provide first aid, according to media reports.

Germany's deadliest rail accident happened in 1998 when a high-speed train operated by state-owned Deutsche Bahn derailed in Eschede in Lower Saxony, killing 101 people.

The most recent fatal crash took place on February 14, 2022, when one person was killed and 14 others injured in a collision between two local trains near  Munich.

In 2017, a collision between a passenger train and a stationary freight train near the western city of Duesseldorf injured 41 people.

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