Sarkozy pays respect to children killed in train-bus crash
The children were on a history outing to the medieval village of Yvoire near the Swiss border when their bus smashed into a train.4 June 2008
ALLINGES - President Nicolas Sarkozy travelled Tuesday to a French Alpine town to pay his respects to the seven children killed when a train ploughed into their packed school bus.
Sarkozy, accompanied by France's education and agriculture ministers, knelt with families of the victims in a church in Allinges where six of the children's bodies were lying at rest.
The body of the seventh victim was in the nearby Swiss city of Geneva, where the boy died in hospital following Monday's accident.
The seven 12- to 13-year-olds were killed and another 25 people injured when a train smashed into their bus on a level crossing in the village of Mesinges near Allinges.
The children, from a local school, were on a history outing to the medieval village of Yvoire near the Swiss border, local officials said. The train and bus drivers were unhurt.
Police on Tuesday detained the bus driver for questioning about his role in the accident.
A woman who said she witnessed the accident said the bus "moved onto a level crossing as the barriers were closing. The red lights were already lit and the bus drove forward anyway."
The driver's employer Gilbert Froissard said Tuesday he had denied running a red light, and described him as an experienced and conscientious driver.
Interior Minister Michele Alliot-Marie, who visited the crash site Monday, said two investigations, one judicial and one administrative, had been opened to determine the reasons for the crash.
[AFP / Expatica]