13 Jul 2013

Fatal train crash south of Paris

10:00 am on 13 July 2013

Six people were killed and 22 seriously injured in a train crash at Bretigny-sur-Orge, south of Paris on Friday afternoon.

The intercity train had just left Paris for Limoges when it derailed at about 5.15pm, crashing into a station platform.

Passengers were trapped inside the train and an official said there were "many casualties".

President Francois Hollande said six people died and 22 others were seriously injured. All those with serious injuries were now in hospital, he added.

He promised an investigation into the derailment.

Earlier, Interior Minister Manuel Valls said seven people died and dozens were hurt.

The BBC reports some of the casualties had been electrocuted.

Bretigny mayor Michel Pouzol said four carriages were lying wrecked on the station platform.

The cause of the crash is as yet unclear.

A police source told the AFP news agency the train had crashed at high speed and split in two - part of it continued along the track while the other section rolled onto its side.

The station platforms were crowded at the start of a holiday weekend.

SCNF said 385 passengers were aboard when the train crashed. Company president Guillaume Pepy said it was a "catastrophe".

The train had left Paris-Austerlitz station at 4.53pm and was due to arrive at Limoges-Benedictins at 8.05pm, the company said in a statement.

The BBC reports this is a holiday weekend in France: Bastille Day is on Sunday.