Two killed as falling boulder derails train

2014-02-08 19:00
(Jean-Christophe Magnenet, AFP)

(Jean-Christophe Magnenet, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Digne-les-Bains - Two women were killed when a massive falling boulder hit a passing train in the French Alps on Saturday, leaving one of its carriages dangling precariously off a steep, snow-covered embankment.

Eight people were injured in the accident which took place as the train travelled from the coastal city of Nice to the popular tourist town of Digne-les-Bains along a narrow, winding, and sometimes breathtakingly steep track.

A Russian woman was killed as well as a woman living in the Alps region, said local prosecutor Stephane Kellenberger, adding that 34 people had been on board the train.

Both victims were in their seventies.

Witnesses said an enormous boulder had struck the train, violently throwing one of its two carriages off the track.

Images of the accident show the carriage hanging off the edge of a ravine, with a large crater in its side as the other teeters on the edge.

"It was as if the boulder fell from the sky, like in an earthquake," said traveller Jean-Jacques Messaoud, 47, who said he had seen a victim bleeding heavily.

Another passenger, Floriane Bonnet, was relaxing at the back of the train when the accident happened.

"I didn't understand, I was thrown to the left and I saw the first half of the train go down the embankment. I tried to break a window but couldn't manage it so I left through the front."

Another woman was rushed to hospital in critical condition and seven others were lightly injured, according to local authorities.

Rescuers had earlier reported nine people injured.

Read more on:    france  |  accidents

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Miley Cyrus can’t get enough of her new puppy

Miley's new dog is too adorable.



The cats that cost R35 000
13 guilty pets
Meet SA's top poacher-catcher
The unusual pets of Instagram

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

Plant some seeds. Your innovative mind is on fire and your ingenious ideas may just be the seeds for future projects. You may more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.