Two Trains Collide During Rush Hour in Germany, Setting Off Fiery Fuel Explosion and Injuring at Least 70 People, 11 Seriously

Three cars loaded with diesel fuel blew up in the collision of a commuter train and a freight train near the suburb of Lehrte, just east of the city. The cause of the crash was not immediately known.

Firefighters kept the fire from spreding to the remaining 19 tanker cars on the freight train, police spokeswoman Ingrid Luetzner said.

Railway spokesman Hans-Juergen Frohns said he did not know how many people were on the passenger train at the time of the 4:55 p.m. collision. He said the engine and first car of the commuter train derailed.

About 70 passengers were injured, rail officials said. About 40 of the injured were taken to hospitals _ including 11 who were seriously injured.

The remaining injured passengers, who suffered light injuries, were treated at a makeshift first aid station at the scene, Luetzner said.

The 46-year-old engineer of the commuter train was among those seriously injured. Luetzner said his injuries were not life-threatening.