Update July 14 2013 at bottom of page.
At least 6 believed dead after passenger train derails outside Paris
A view of the Bretigny sur Orge train station, south of Paris, after a train derailed Friday July, 12, 2013. A packed passenger train skidded off its rails after leaving Paris on Friday, leaving seven people believed dead and dozens injured as train cars slammed into each other and overturned, authorities said. (AP)
July 12, 2013 3:32 PM EDT
PARIS — A packed passenger train derailed and crashed into a station outside Paris on Friday on the eve of a major holiday weekend. At least seven people were believed killed and dozens were injured, authorities said.
The crash at Bretigny-sur-Orge station was the deadliest in France in years. Some cars slid toward the station itself, crushing part of the metallic roof over the platform. Images from the scene shown on French television showed gnarled metal and shards on the platform, and debris from the crash clogging the stairwell leading beneath the platform.
Officials didn’t comment on reports that some passengers may still be trapped on the train. It was unclear whether all the casualties were inside the train, or whether some had been on the platform, or how fast the train was travelling. The head of the SNCF rail authority, Guillaume Pepy, called it a “catastrophe.”
The cause of the crash was under investigation. Two train cars, Nos. 3 and 4, initially derailed, then knocked the other cars off the track, Pepy said.
“Some cars simply derailed, others are leaning, others fell over,” he said.
Interior Minister Manuel Valls said at least seven people are believed dead and several dozen injured, but added that the casualty toll is “in constant evolution.”
The SNCF said the train was carrying about 385 passengers when it derailed Friday evening at 5:15 p.m. and crashed into the station at Bretigny-sur-Orge, about 20 kilometres south of Paris. The train was headed from Paris to Limoges, a 400- kilometre journey and was about 20 minutes into what would have been a three-hour journey.
The accident came as France is preparing to celebrate its most important national holiday, Bastille Day, on Sunday, and as masses of vacationers are heading out of Paris and other big cities to see family or on summer vacation.
All trains from Paris’ Gare d’Austerlitz were suspended after the accident.
A passenger speaking on France’s BFM television said the train was going at a normal speed and wasn’t meant to stop at Bretigny-sur-Orge. He described children unattended in the chaotic aftermath. He said there are swarms of emergency workers at the scene.
Video at the Source as well.Death toll has been lowed from 7 to 6.
9 are in critical condition so the death toll may rise.More information, photos and video HERE and HERE
More information and video HERE
July 14 2013 update
Death toll remains at 6.
Video at site below as well
France train crash clean-up operations begin, as investigations reveal potential track fault to blame