Firefighters inspect the derailed train in Bad Lausick near Leipzig, eastern Germany. Fifty people were injured when the train derailed after hitting a car at a railway crossing.

Leipzig - Around 50 people were injured, nine seriously, when a German train derailed after colliding with a car on Tuesday, police said.

The accident occurred shortly after 1pm (13h00 GMT) when the train running between Chemnitz and Leipzig crashed into a vehicle at a crossing near Bad Lausick, around 200km south of the capital Berlin.

The train, which was carrying between 60 and 70 people, including several students, was travelling at 100km/h at the time of the crash, German television reported.

A railway spokesperson said four carriages were thrown off the tracks and one landed in a nearby field.

The driver of the car managed to flee to safety after his vehicle was pushed on to the tracks by a van, police said.

“I opened my door, I unfastened my safety belt and I sped off,” driver Horst Fiedler told television.

“We tried to get the car off the rail tracks but it didn't work... We wanted to push it over but the train approached too fast,” said Manfred Kiefer, who was at the scene at the time of the accident. - Sapa-AFP