In Recklinghausen, a freight train hit two children. One child was killed in the accident and the other was seriously injured, said a spokesman for the situation center in the North Rhine-Westphalian Ministry of the Interior on Thursday evening. The exact circumstances remained open. Details such as the age of the children were initially unclear.
The situation remained confusing for the time being. The police withheld further information. It is possible that not all relatives were informed.
According to the fire department, 35 firefighters and rescue workers were deployed. "We searched the track bed," said a spokesman for the fire department. Due to the darkness and the extent of the search area, a drone was used. The accident site is near a former freight yard. Recklinghausen is located in the northern Ruhr area.
NRW Interior Minister Herbert Reul (CDU) meanwhile drove to the scene of the fatal accident. "He is now getting an idea of the situation on site and is talking to the emergency services there," said a spokesman for the Interior Ministry of the dpa on Thursday evening.
According to initial media reports, the train caught a group of people. "Bild", "Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung" (WAZ) and Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR) reported that they had been dragged along several hundred meters.
The railway line between Gladbeck and Recklinghausen main station was closed. "We do not yet have a forecast as to when the route will be free again," said a spokeswoman for Deutsche Bahn AG in Berlin. A bus is used as a rail replacement service between these two stations.
According to Deutsche Bahn, there are restrictions on regional transport on the S9, RE2 and RE42 train lines. Long-distance traffic is not affected. According to information from Deutsche Bahn, the accident happened in the Recklinghausen-Ost area.
A drone could be seen flying over the site on WDR television images. A WDR reporter reported that a search was apparently being made for other victims along the railway line.