Train accident in southern France causes multiple injuries

A train travelling from Montpellier to Nimes in southern France was hit by a tree Wednesday, causing a number of injuries, a spokeswoman for train operator SNCF and a local fire colonel said.

Fire colonel Christophe Risdorfer told France Bleu radio that one person who had been ejected from the train at the moment of impact had been evacuated to the hospital by helicopter.

He added that seven others were in a semi-urgent state, five of whom had been evacuated and two who were being treated by emergency services. Some 200 people were unharmed, he said.

The train had been travelling at 140 kilometres per hour, a spokeswoman for SNCF said. The tree, toppled by exceptionally strong thunderstorms, hit the train as it travelled along the tracks near the village of Lunel, she added.

The accident occurred at approximately 3:40 pm (1340 GMT).

Local authorities said in a statement that affected passengers were evacuated to a local public building in nearby Saint Aunes. They added that train traffic in Nimes and Montpellier had been affected, and shuttle buses had started circulating.

Last update: Wed, 17/08/2016 - 18:35
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