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Rail travel

Driver dies in Luxembourg train crash

Rail traffic between Luxembourg and eastern France has been halted by a fatal collision. A driver died in the wreckage of his passenger train when it hit a freight train. Two other crew members suffered injuries.

Rescue services found the passenger train badly mangled near Bettembourg in southern Luxembourg where it had collided head-on with a 27-wagon cargo train at breakfast time Tuesday.

The Luxembourg rail concern CFL said its initial readings from recorded data showed that the passenger train driver had overseen a red signal.

The driver of the freight train en route from France escaped with light injuries by escaping to the rear of his locomotive. Also hurt was a woman conductor.

Passengers not on board

As crews pulled derailed units apart, worries had centered on the fate of possible passengers, but a CFL spokeswoman later said it appeared no-one else had been on board the commuter train.

The frontal collision had occurred at up 60 kilometers per hour (37 miles per hour).

Luxembourg transport minister Francois Bausch said he was shocked.

"My thoughts are with the relatives of the victims," he said.

Track segment closed

The CFL said train traffic between Luxembourg and Thionville - near eastern France's metropolis of Metz - would be suspended until Wednesday evening, local time.

For the interim, bus services would replace train services on the closed section of track.

In 2006 a two-train collision at Zoufftgen, near the scene of Tuesday's accident, claimed the lives of six people and left another 23 injured.

ipj/rt (AP, AFP, Reuters, dpa)