Three Israelis were killed when a train collided with their minibus at a level crossing in the canton of Nidwalden in Switzerland on Monday morning, Swiss media reported.

The other five passengers on the minibus, also Israelis, were seriously injured.

A police spokesman said the bus was carrying eight Israelis, according to a report in the Neue Luzerner Zeitung Online.

The three were named as Amal Khalil, the head of the police investigations division in northern Israel, Attaf Haj, a police investigator, and Nasif Badar. All three were residents of the town of Merar in northern Israel.

Among the wounded was Wafa Azzam, the brother of Azzam Azzam, who served eight years in an Egyptian prison for spying for Israel.

According to a report from The Local, an English-language news network, the crash happened in the municipality of Wolfenschiessen at a level crossing that does not have a security barrier.

As the minibus crossed the tracks it was hit by a train operated by Zentralbahn, which runs narrow-gauge trains on the Lucerne-Engelberg and Lucerne-Interlaken lines. There were no injuries among the train passengers.

Eyewitnesses said two helicopters, five ambulances and 10 firetrucks rushed to the scene of the accident.

The Local reported that on July 21 another train hit a vehicle at a level crossing in Wolfenschiessen. Although the Mercedes station wagon involved was damaged, the driver was unharmed.

In April several Israelis were injured when a minibus full of backpackers crashed and overturned in Argentina.