Scores dead in high-speed German train crash

ESCHEDE, Germany (AP) — Hurtling with a momentum that telescoped some train cars and piled up others in twisted heaps of steel, Germany’s fastest passenger train derailed and jackknifed Wednesday when the lead locomotive somehow broke loose. Workers pulled out 76 bodies; they expected to find many more.
Traveling at 125 mph, car after car slammed into an overpass, bringing the bridge crashing down upon the wreckage and the dead and wounded. Houses just 150 feet away were unscathed, protected by an embankment.
The Munich-to-Hamburg train, carrying mostly business people, was nearing the Eschede station in northern Germany when the accident happened at mid-morning. Passengers felt a rattle, then, soon afterward, the jarring crash, one survivor said.
The cause of Germany’s worst train accident since World War II remained unclear late Wednesday, and officials were even unsure how many people were actually aboard Hamburg-bound ICE 884. Joachim Lindenberg, a police spokesman, said 76 bodies had been recovered and three more spotted by late Wednesday night.
Lower-Saxony state officials expected the final death toll to top 100.