Train crash in France, several seriously injured | News | DW | 17.08.2016
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Train crash in France, several seriously injured

Emergency services say 10 people were seriously hurt when a regional train crashed into a fallen tree in southern France. At least one passenger is reported to be in a critical condition.

As many as 60 passengers were injured - around 10 of them seriously - when the TER train struck a tree that had fallen onto the track after extremely violent storms, rescue workers said.

The accident happened Wednesday at around 3:45 p.m. local time (1345 UTC) near the village of Saint-Aunes, between the southern French cities of Nimes and Montpellier.

More than 200 passengers were on board the train, which was traveling at 140 kilometers per hour (87 mph).

Local media reported that the train did not derail, but the engine and first carriage suffered severe damage.

France train crash

Violent hail storms hit southern France Wednesday causing trees to fall onto the rail tracks

Images posted to social media showed damage to the train's front carriage and the inside of a carriage strewn with debris.

National rail operator SNCF said that firefighters and police were at the scene, describing access to the area where the crash took place as "very difficult." SNCF confirmed that the train had been traveling at its usual speed.

France Bleu radio reported that the impact was so violent that at least one person was thrown from the train. BFM-TV said one of those most seriously injured was airlifted to hospital by helicopter.

Several people were treated for shock at the scene.

Rail services in both directions were suspended following the crash.

mm/sms (AFP, dpa, Reuters)