The accident occurred shortly after 6:48 a.m. local time (0548 UTC) on Tuesday, about 60 kilometers (37 miles) southeast of Munich. One train derailed in the head-on collision and several carriages overturned, Deutsche Welle reports.
Federal spokesman Rainer Scharf said nine people died in the crash and 108 others were injured. Two people are still reportedly missing.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she was “dismayed and saddened” by the accident.
“My sympathy goes out especially to the families of the nine people who lost their lives,” she said.
Speaking at a press conference in Bad Aibling, the German Minister of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, Alexander Dobrindt, said the front carriages of the trains were ripped in two after the vehicles collided while moving at up to 100 kilometers per hour (62 mph).
“As the collision occurred on a bend, it’s conceivable that the two train drivers didn’t see each other beforehand,” the CSU member said, adding that it was unclear whether the crash was the result of a technical or human error.
The minister said two of three black boxes, which will help to determine the cause of the accident, have already been found, adding that it would be “unhelpful to speculate” while the evidence was analyzed.
Deutsche Bahn chairman Rüdiger Grube said the rail company was “deeply upset” by the incident and offered the firm’s thoughts to the relatives of those injured and killed.
Due to the difficult location of the crash site, boats and helicopters were used to transport many of the wounded across Mangfall river, before they were taken to hospital in ambulances.
“This is the biggest accident we have had in years in this region and we have many emergency doctors, ambulances and helicopters on the scene,” police spokesperson Stefan Sonntag said.