The train manufacturer, Meridian, released a statement in German, saying two trains collided just after 7 a.m. today local time. One person remains missing, although police said there is "little hope” of finding the person alive as 700 rescuers and volunteers look through the wreckage.
In a news conference, German Transport minister Alexander Dobrindt told reporters, "it's a shocking sight how the two trains collided and the one has smashed into the other."
There is no detail on the condition of the two train operators.
"They must have hit each other at a high speed. On that line 120 kilometers per hour is allowed," Dobrindt said of a speed equal to about 74 mph.
"The crash happened on a curve so we have to assume the drivers didn't see each other and didn't brake."
He added, "It's a heavy point in the history of German train travel, one of the worst accidents of the past years."
"We have an automatic security system that should prevent trains colliding with a forced brake if two trains are on the same rails."
Bernd Rosenbusch, managing director of the Bavarian Oberland Bahn GmbH, which operates the trains, said "the accident was a huge shock to us. We do everything to help travelers, families and employees,"
Technical director Fabian Amini said, "We were quickly on the scene and were able to get an idea of the serious collision. We thank the emergency services and employees who have provided assistance as quickly.”
German Justice Minister Heiko Maas tweeted, "Quite bad news from #Bad Aibling. Our thoughts are with the victims + injured. Thanks to rescuers."