Europe

Train dispatcher in deadly German train crash goes on trial

  • Defendant rail dispatcher Michael P. sits besides his lawyer as he waits for his trail at a courtroom in Traunstein, Germany, Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016. Michael P. is accused of playing an online game on his cell phone shortly before two trains he was in charge of collided on a single-track line in Bad Aibling, killing 12 people. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

    Defendant rail dispatcher Michael P. sits besides his lawyer as he waits for his trail at a courtroom in Traunstein, Germany, Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016. Michael P. is accused of playing an online game on his cell phone shortly before two trains he was in charge of collided on a single-track line in Bad Aibling, killing 12 people. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)  (The Associated Press)

  • Defendant Michael P. covers his face as he arrives in a courtroom in Traunstein, southern Germany, Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016. The rail dispatcher is accused of negligent homicide in 12 cases as prosecutors claim he was playing an online game on his cellphone shortly before two trains he was in charge of collided head-on on a single-track line near Bad Aibling. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

    Defendant Michael P. covers his face as he arrives in a courtroom in Traunstein, southern Germany, Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016. The rail dispatcher is accused of negligent homicide in 12 cases as prosecutors claim he was playing an online game on his cellphone shortly before two trains he was in charge of collided head-on on a single-track line near Bad Aibling. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)  (The Associated Press)

  • Defendant Michael P. covers his face as he arrives in a courtroom in Traunstein, southern Germany, Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016. The rail dispatcher is accused of negligent homicide in 12 cases as prosecutors claim he was playing an online game on his cellphone shortly before two trains he was in charge of collided head-on on a single-track line near Bad Aibling. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

    Defendant Michael P. covers his face as he arrives in a courtroom in Traunstein, southern Germany, Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016. The rail dispatcher is accused of negligent homicide in 12 cases as prosecutors claim he was playing an online game on his cellphone shortly before two trains he was in charge of collided head-on on a single-track line near Bad Aibling. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)  (The Associated Press)

A train dispatcher is going on trial charged with 12 counts of negligent homicide and 89 counts of causing bodily harm in the collision of two commuter trains in southern Germany earlier this year.

The trial of the dispatcher, identified only as Michael P. in line with German privacy laws, opened Thursday in Traunstein, the dpa news agency reported.

Prosecutors say the dispatcher is suspected of playing an online game shortly before the two trains he was in charge of collided on a single-track line on Feb. 9.

The crash was near the Bavarian town of Bad Aibling, about 60 kilometers (40 miles) southeast of Munich.

The dispatcher has been in custody since April.