Overshadowed by reports of the shocking carnage in Paris, a French high-speed TGV train has derailed near the eastern French city of Strasbourg, crashed into a canal and killed 11 people.
It’s the first fatal accident since the TGV trains, one of the joys of travelling in France, were introduced over 30 years ago.
Police said yesterday the cause of the accident was still unknown but there were no indications it was terrorism related. The victims were mainly train technicians, part of a team of 49 aboard the train during the test of the new high-speed Paris-Strasbourg line, due to open next year. Some other people were on the train as well and several children were among those injured. They are perhaps relatives of the adults aboard.
Five of those aboard the train are still missing and another 37 are confirmed injured, 12 of them critically.
The TGV was travelling at about 350km/h during testing for the next generation TGV due to go into service in early 2016.
The train derailed near the town of Eckwersheim and television footage showed the TGV locomotive partly submerged in the canal as emergency workers toiled to rescue survivors. Wreckage was also scattered in a field beside the track.
Written by Peter Needham