Dozens hurt in head-on Vienna commuter train crash

VIENNA Mon Jan 21, 2013 8:25am EST

1 of 4. A railway official talks on his mobile phone in front of two demolished S45 trains after a train crash in Vienna January 21, 2013. Two trains collided Monday morning, injuring 25 people, police said.

Credit: Reuters/Heinz-Peter Bader

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VIENNA (Reuters) - Forty-one people were hurt - five of them seriously - when two crowded commuter trains crashed head-on in Vienna during the morning rush hour on Monday, authorities said.

The driver of one train and another person remained in critical condition after the mishap, the emergency services in the Austrian capital said.

Operations on the line had been switched to manual following a technical defect with a shunting switch, and a spokeswoman for Austrian railways said human error had not been ruled out as a possible cause of the crash.

"A train got permission to travel when it should not have," she said.

(Reporting by Michael Shields; Editing by Jon Boyle)