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Ninth German Crash Victim Dies

March 3, 2000

COLOGNE, Germany (AP) _ A ninth person has died from injuries received in last month’s train crash near Cologne, while the investigation into the cause of the derailing continues, prosecutors said Friday.

Spokeswoman Regine Appenrodt in Cologne denied a report released Friday by the Munich-based Focus magazine, which said investigators had determined the 28-year-old train driver bore the main responsibility for the Feb. 6 crash. Eight people died at the scene and 149 were injured.

One of the injured, who had to have both legs amputated after the crash, died at a Cologne hospital on Thursday, Appenrodt said.

Appenrodt said prosecutors were still waiting for a report on the accident by the federal railways monitoring office, as well as witness accounts taken by the police.

Also, the train driver, who was treated at a hospital for shock, has not yet given his version of what happened, she said.

``That is something we have to assess and we can’t do that yet,″ Appenrodt said.

Prosecutors also need to determine if a breakdown in instructions to the engineer provided by the railway contributed to the crash, she said.

Investigators have said the driver sped through the Bruehl station at 75 mph instead of the allowed 25 mph.

The overnight express train flew off the tracks, with the engine smashing through the wall of a home near the train station. No one in the house was injured.

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