A Belgian mayor said the crash had been "very violent," adding that the number of casualties could rise. A survivor described a "chaotic scene" as firefighters pulled passengers out of the wreckage.
A passenger train crashed into the back of a freight train late Sunday in the Belgian municipality of Saint-Georges-sur-Meuse, leaving at least three people dead and 40 others injured.
"A train … carrying around 40 passengers crashed into the back of freight train on the same track," said Belgium's national railway company SNCB in a statement. "The collision derailed two of the six carriages."
Infrabel spokesman Frederic Sacre told the AFP news agency that the passenger train slammed into the freight train at high speed.
Saint-Georges-sur-Meuse Mayor Francis Dejon said the collision had been "very violent," adding that the death toll could rise. Some of the hospitalized passengers were in critical condition, he said.
Emergency response personnel arrived at the site of the crash and began pulling people from the wreckage.
One passenger told the L'Avenir website that the train's front cars were completely destroyed, describing a "chaotic scene."
"The priority is to care for the victims," SNCB said. The Belgian national railway added that information was already being analyzed to determine the circumstances of the deadly crash.
Authorities transported survivors to a local sports center, where they were offered psychological counseling.
ls/bw (AFP, AP, Reuters)