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A spokesman for German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, has confirmed that there have been numerous fatalities following a collision on the  A9 motorway near the town of Bayreuth in Bavaria early this morning.

Speaking in the aftermath of the incident, Steffen Seibert said: "Unfortunately, numerous people… lost their lives in this burning bus."

It has been established that 46 passengers and two bus drivers were travelling on a coach when it collided with a lorry at around 7am local time.

According to media reports in Germany, as the lorry was carrying beds and pillows, it instantly burst into flames.

As it stands, 18 people are currently unaccounted for while a further 30 have suffered serious injury, with police spokesman Juergen Stadter asserting: "We are realistic and will have several dead to report at the end of the day."

The coach was bound for Lake Garda in Italy when the collision occurred.

Commenting on the incident, Steffen Seibert said: "Our thoughts go to the victims and their family members, as well as to the injured. We hope that those who have been rescued will recover from their injuries."

Forensic experts, in addition to emergency services, are at the scene.



*This is a developing story*

Local media is this evening reporting that an axe- and knife-wielding attacker has injured at least 20 passengers on a train near Heidingsfeld in Bavaria in southern Germany.

Some of the victims' injuries are thought to be life-threatening, according to the BBC, although additional reports say many of those injured were witnesses who required treatment for shock. 

Multiple sources are also now claiming that the attacker has been killed; Sky News cites police spokesman Fabien Hench as confirming that the man was shot dead by police as he tried to flee the scene.

The motives behind the violent outbreak are also currently unclear, although ISIS supporters were quick to state on social media that the terror organisation was behind the incident. 

The train line between Wurzburg-Heidingsfeld and Ochsenfurt has been closed.

The identify of the attacker has furthermore yet to be unveiled. 



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