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France

Rail operator SNCF accidentally reports fatal train explosion

©

Video by FRANCE 24

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2010-03-16

In an erroneous posting on its website, France's rail operator, the SNCF, mistakenly reported that one of its trains had blown up causing 102 fatalities.

French rail operator SNCF “mistakenly” posted an announcement on its website Tuesday saying one of its trains had exploded and that scores of passengers had been killed. 

The newsflash, which was online for just under a quarter of an hour late Tuesday morning, told of “dramatic events on TGV 1234.”
 
“An explosion of unknown cause occurred towards 8am this morning on the TGV 1234 going to Macon,” the post read. “First estimates from rescue services are that 102 people were killed and 380 injured. All victims were evacuated to hospital at Macon.”
 
The mistake was spotted by a journalist at national radio station France Info and later confirmed by a member of SNCF’s staff.
 
The posting, it turns out, was not a malicious attack by a hacker, but a pre-prepared emergency announcement that was accidentally posted on the live site.
 
“This page was to be used only in the case of a real emergency,” an SNCF spokesman told French Daily Le Parisien. “We often conduct emergency exercises, including preparing emails and press releases. We don’t yet know if this was mistake or a technical glitch.”

 

Date created : 2010-03-16

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