Rail transport chaos in Paris after lightning strike

3rd July 2010, Comments 0 comments

Transport chaos hit Paris at the start of the French holiday season Saturday after all trains from one of the city's main stations were cancelled after lightning cut power supplies.

France's state rail network SNCF said trains from the city's Austerlitz station, which provides services to the country's south and east as well as Spain, "will be cancelled for the entire day."

Arriving trains were re-routed to other Parisian stations. The SNCF did not say how many passengers were hit by the suspension.

Hundreds were stuck in Austerlitz but some were philosophical.

"It's lightning that's responsible, I cannot be angry with the rail officials."

On Saturday lightning struck an electrical facility at Bretigny-sur-Orge on the outskirts of Paris during a violent storm, sparking the mass cancellations.

All power lines were down and trains were stuck on four parallel tracks, SNCF said in a statement.

"Given the extent of the damage, it will take at least eight hours to carry out repairs," it said.

© 2010 AFP

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