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German train hits tour bus in Switzerland

A bus carrying Asian tourists has collided with a German high-speed train at a level crossing near Bern, police said. At least 17 bus passengers were injured, but the train passengers remained unscathed.

The train drove into the back section of the coach near a bridge in Interlaken, some 40 kilometers (25 miles) from Bern, the Swiss police said on Saturday.

Although the crash caused no fatalities, officials said that at least 17 bus passengers were taken to nearby hospitals for treatment.

Their injuries, however, were "not so bad" according to a Swiss police spokesman.

None of the train staff or passengers were injured, and most of the bus passengers have already been released, authorities say.

The people in the bus were part of a travel group from Taiwan, a spokeswoman for the Taiwanese mission in Geneva said.

Although the crash involved a

high-speed train,

the speed limit for this particular part of the track is 40 kph (25 mph).

Swiss safety tested

Officials were still trying to determine the cause of the incident. The two vehicles collided at a rail crossing equipped with safety technology, a spokesman for Swiss Railways told the SDA news agency.

"The level crossing is secured with a double safety obstacle, meaning there are two barriers on each side," he said.

In addition, the railway system is programmed to automatically activate brakes if any train approaches while the moving barriers are raised.

The authorities opened the rail for traffic on Saturday morning.

dj/bw (AFP, dpa)

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