At least seven people have been confirmed dead and several others injured when a passenger train conveying about 385 passengers derailed and crashed into a station very close to Paris, France.
The train took off from Paris enroute Limoges and was about 20 minutes into the three hours journey when it crashed into the Bretigny-sur-Orge station. The cause of the crash which has been described as the deadliest so far in France for years is yet to be determined.
Interior Minister Manuel Valls has confirmed that at least seven people were killed dead and several others but that the figure could rise.
French President Francois Hollande had to abandoned his duties in the office to visit the scene for on the spot assessment of the incident.
“I heard a loud noise. A cloud of sand covered everything,” one witness, Bazgua El Mehdi, 19, who was on a nearby train, told Le Parisien newspaper.Then the dust dissipated. I thought it was a freight train, but then we saw the first casualties … Many passengers on the (train) were crying, AP reported.
Head of the SNCF rail authority, Guillaume Pepy, called it a “catastrophe”, even as officials were still investigating the incident. “Two train cars, Nos. 3 and 4, initially derailed, then knocked the other cars off the track, Pepy said adding that some cars simply derailed, others are leaning, others fell over,” he said.