Over 70 injured as Paris train hits buffer

5th April 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, April 5, 2007 (AFP) - More than 70 people were injured on Thursday when a train carrying hundreds of rush-hour commuters hit the rail buffer of a Paris station, firefighters said.

PARIS, April 5, 2007 (AFP) - More than 70 people were injured on Thursday when a train carrying hundreds of rush-hour commuters hit the rail buffer of a Paris station, firefighters said.

The driver was held for questioning by police after the nine-carriage train carrying 600 passengers hit the buffer as it pulled into the Gare de l'Est station, in eastern Paris.

A doctor with the Paris firefighters' service said 71 people were injured, 58 of whom were taken to a dozen hospitals around the capital.

Paris police chief Pierre Mutz went to the Gare de L'Est to oversee an emergency operation in which 115 firefighters and rescue officials were dispatched to the station.

The regional train from Chateau-Thierry, east of Paris, was traveling at slow speed but a commuter told AFP that the impact was still "very strong" and passengers were thrown to the floor.

"Many passengers were standing up and were getting ready to get off because the train was late," the commuter said.

Paris firefighters said most of the injured suffered bruises from being thrown to the floor. One commuter suffered a broken nose and others sustained sprains.

A spokesman for the state-owned rail company SNCF said the passengers suffered "a few bruises" when the train came to a sudden halt as it arrived at the station at around 8:30 am (0630 GMT).

"It's not an accident, but an incident, which happens from time to time," said a spokesman, saying the train had "hit the buffer a bit roughly."

The director of the regional train service, Thierry Mignauw, told a news conference that the driver "was in police hands" and that an investigation was under way into the cause of the accident.

Mignauw said that the train hit the buffer on track 21 of the train station at a speed of about five to seven kilometres per hour (three to 4.5 miles per hour).

"The investigation will determine whether there was a problem with the brake system," said Mignauw, adding that the driver had not alerted SNCF of any technical problem before the accident.

Transport Minister Dominique Perben ordered a separate probe and sent two experts from the ministry's bureau of investigation into accidents to the station.

The accident caused disruption and delays for other suburban rail services to the station, a major hub for trains from the eastern outskirts of Paris.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

0 Comments To This Article