The 2006 Lathen Maglev Train Accident occurred on 22 September 2006 when a Transrapid magnetic levitation (or “maglev”) train collided with a maintenance vehicle on a test track about 0.6 miles (1 km) away from Lathen, Germany. 23 people were killed, and ten suffered serious injuries. Both the Transrapid train and the maintenance vehicle suffered severe damage and debris were scattered along about 437 yards (400 m) of the track. The two men in the maintenance vehicle survived.
On 23 May 2008, the current track manager, Guenter Steinmetz, and his successor Joerg Metzner, were convicted of 23 counts of manslaughter and 11 counts of causing negligent injury. The men were fined 24,000 euro and 20,000 euro respectively. The court ruled that the men had not acted with criminal intent, and so withheld prison sentences.
A third defendant, Guenther Mueller, who cleared the train to proceed on the blocked track, will be tried at a later date. His trial has been postponed due to suicide fears.