"There are 23 dead and 10 injured. They (the victims) have been removed from the crash site for identification. We know who was involved but we need to identify each victim and we will also start collecting information from the site today."
The crash happened fifty metres in from where we are here and the train stopped two hundred metres behind us. Around you can see mostly parts of the Transrapid (train) itself, for example, over there is a part of the cockpit
Emergency services in Germany confirmed on Saturday that 23 people were killed and 10 injured when a high-speed magnetic train crashed into a maintenance vehicle on a closed, elevated test track.
Prosecutors say they are bringing in technical experts to help them establish how and why the accident happened.
The wreck of the Transrapid train remains on the elevated track near Lathen in northwestern Germany while investigators gather evidence.
The Transrapid uses magnetic levitation (maglev) technology in which the train skims over its guideway on powerful magnetic fields without touching a track.
This cuts friction and enables speeds up to 450 kilometres per hour (270 miles per hour).
Initial indications were that human error, not sophisticated 'maglev' technology, was to blame for putting the maintenance vehicle on the track at the same time as the Transrapid train, prosecutors and company officials said.
The train was travelling at about 200 kilometres per hour (125 miles per hour), and it was thought 29 people were on board when it struck the maintenance vehicle, hurling it up and into the roof and upper part of the train.
Because there was no passenger list, authorities were unsure how many people were aboard the train and how many workers were on board the maintenance car, but the latest figures suggested that a total of 33 people were involved in the accident.
Police spokesman Ewald Temmen said prosecutors would go over the scene on Saturday with technical experts while investigators sought to identify all the victims.
"We know who was involved but we need to identify each victim and we will also start collecting information from the site today," he said.
Officials say the victims include workers for utility RWE, Transrapid International, the company that makes the train, and a nursing service. The 32-kilometre (20-mile) track, operated by Munich-based IABG, is mainly used to show off maglev technology, but tourists are allowed to ride the train as well.