Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

REVISITED

In Prijedor, survivors fight to keep memory alive

Read more

FOCUS

Bosnia: Hopes of change among disempowered citizens

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

¡Gracias, Gabo!

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

The Socialist rebellion grows

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Algerian election: Bouteflika votes in wheelchair

Read more

REPORTERS

Indian election: Votes for sale

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Can Weibo win over US investors?

Read more

DEBATE

Algeria: What's the Choice? Incumbent Bouteflika Votes in Wheelchair (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Algeria: What's the Choice? Incumbent Bouteflika Votes in Wheelchair

Read more

  • Abel Ferrara’s hotly awaited DSK film to premiere on web

    Read more

  • Police seek arrest warrant for South Korea ferry captain

    Read more

  • Top Hollande adviser resigns over conflict of interest accusation

    Read more

  • In Prijedor, survivors fight to keep memory alive

    Read more

  • Indian election: Votes for sale

    Read more

  • Video: Tensions remain high in Mariupol despite Geneva deal

    Read more

  • Astronomers discover Earth-like planet that could support life

    Read more

  • West African Ebola outbreak caused by new strain of virus

    Read more

  • Nobel-winning Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez dies at 87

    Read more

  • Deadly avalanche strikes Everest in worst-ever disaster

    Read more

  • With a strong French presence, veterans and fresh faces, Cannes aims to please

    Read more

  • Low turnout reported in Algeria as Bouteflika seeks fourth term

    Read more

  • Russia and West agree on steps to ease Ukraine crisis

    Read more

  • Mob launches deadly attack on UN shelter for S. Sudan civilians

    Read more

  • Eurostar train mishap causes 'severe' delays

    Read more

  • Chelsea Clinton announces she's pregnant

    Read more

  • French troops free five aid workers kidnapped in Mali by Islamists

    Read more

  • In pictures: Iranian woman pardons son’s killer at the gallows

    Read more

  • After cup defeat, Spanish pundits read last rites for Barcelona

    Read more

  • India heads to polls in single largest day of voting

    Read more

  • Ukraine talks open in Geneva as Putin talks tough on TV

    Read more

  • Pro-Russian separatists killed in attack on Black Sea base

    Read more

  • Man executed in Texas for 2002 triple murder

    Read more

  • Scandal-hit French doctor Jacques Servier dies at 92

    Read more

  • Belgian head of wildlife reserve shot in DR Congo

    Read more

France

Six killed as passenger train derails in Paris suburb

© @remycatinois via Twitter

Video by Halla Mohieddeen , FRANCE 2

Text by Tony Todd

Latest update : 2013-07-15

At least six people died and dozens others were injured when a packed passenger train derailed at a station in the Paris suburb of Brétigny-sur-Orge on Friday evening, in what is France’s deadliest train crash in 25 years.

Six people died and several dozen were injured when a packed passenger train derailed at a station outside of Paris on Friday evening, in what is France's deadliest train crash in 25 years. 

Witnesses said the site of the crash resembled "a war zone", with one describing walking over a decapitated body to exit a carriage that had been thrown on its side.

Rescuers were searching late Friday for passengers who may still be trapped inside overturned carriages.

Map of Brétigny-sur-Orge

View Larger Map

The interior ministry said in an updated toll that at least six people had been killed, nine seriously injured and taken to hospital by helicopter and 17 lightly injured.

Interior Minister Manuel Valls had earlier said that at least seven people had been killed but added that "The death toll is evolving constantly at this point and unfortunately it will probably rise."

The packed train, en route from Paris to the central city of Limoges, was carrying some 385 passengers when it derailed on Friday evening at 5.15pm and crashed into the station at Brétigny-sur-Orge, 12 miles south of Paris.

A passenger told FRANCE 24: “Everything was fine as the train left Paris, and then we felt a violent shuddering and saw a billowing cloud of white smoke. We realised that the coaches behind us had fallen over and there were many people trapped inside. The train was full. SNCF staff told us that some of the dead had been decapitated.”

Passenger Marc Cheutin, 57, told the AFP news agency he had to "step over a decapitated person" after the accident to exit the carriage he had been travelling in.

"Shortly after departure, just as I was getting into my book, we felt a first shock that shook the carriage I was in.... Then there was a second shock and the carriage lifted up, then a third and a fourth and the carriage went over on its side," he said.

Another passenger told France’s BFM television that the train was going at a normal speed and was not meant to stop at Brétigny-sur-Orge.

He described children unattended in the chaotic aftermath and said there were swarms of emergency workers at the scene.

'I saw people covered in blood', eyewitness says

The head of the SNCF national railway, Guillaume Pepy, in tears in front of French TV cameras, said that six carriages had derailed during the accident. The train's third and fourth carriages derailed first and the others followed, he explained.

Pepy described the accident as a "catastrophe" and expressed the rail company's "solidarity with the victims and their families".

"We don't yet know the reasons for this derailment," Pepy said, adding that investigations would be carried out by the rail service, judicial authorities and France's BEA safety agency.

Brétigny Mayor Bernard Decaux told French daily Le Parisien that there was chaos at the station.

"Everyone is running in every direction, there is panic," he said. "It is an apocalyptic scene. We are trying to organise things."

Hospitals in Paris were on emergency alert to treat serious injuries, including from electrocution. Some 300 firefighters, 20 paramedic teams and eight helicopters were deployed to the area.

Visiting the scene on Friday evening, French President François Hollande said France would be in “mourning” for Sunday’s July 14 Bastille Day national holiday.

“Yes this will be a time for mourning, but it will also be a time for solidarity, for brotherhood,” he said. “This is what the French Republic is about.”

The accident happened as masses of holidaymakers were heading out of Paris for the holiday weekend and for summer vacations.

Travel to and from Paris's Austerlitz station had been temporarily suspended.
 

 

 

Date created : 2013-07-12

  • FRANCE

    In Pictures: Packed passenger train derails outside Paris

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)