According to officials, the reason for the confusion over the number of deaths was the "mangled state of the wreckage".
Ninety-six people were also injured. According to local sources at least 10 of these have life threatening injuries. Twenty-two people who are thought to have been on the train remain accounted for.
The train had been en-route from Amsterdam to Basle in Switzerland and was carrying about 300 people. It was travelling through Brühl station, near Cologne when it became derailed. The accident occurred at about 00:13 local time as the train was negotiating a series of crossovers.
The locomotive of the 9 car train plunged down an embankment and crashed into a house. None of the occupants were hurt. The train driver also survived. One of the coaches narrowly missed another house. Another coach was thrown onto its side and one was crushed against canopy support pillars on the station platform.
Although there is no official explanation of the cause of the derailment, data from the locomotive's event recorder (black box) show that the train had acelerated to 120 km/h despite a speed restriction of 40 km/h being in force in the area.
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