Three dead, 40 injured in Belgian train crash

2016-06-06 09:41
First-aid personnel work on the scene following a collision between a goods train and a passenger train. (John Thys, AFP)

First-aid personnel work on the scene following a collision between a goods train and a passenger train. (John Thys, AFP)

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Brussels – At least three people were killed and 40 injured on Sunday in a train crash in eastern Belgium, the Belga news agency reported.

A passenger train slammed into the back of a goods train on the same track at high speed, Frederic Sacre, spokesperson for Belgian railway infrastructure manager Infrabel, told AFP.

The accident occurred on the line linking Namur and Liege, close to the municipality of Saint-Georges-sur-Meuse, with Belga quoting the mayor of the commune on the toll.

Around 40 passengers were on board, Infrabel and the National Railway Company of Belgium (SNCB) said in a joint statement.

"Two of the six carriages derailed and are lying on the tracks," the statement said.

The front carriage was completely turned on its side, an AFP photographer at the scene said.

Belga reported that the collision had been "very violent," adding that fire and police services had been sent from Liege to the scene, with several passengers having to be extracted from the wreckage.

A person who had been on board described the scene as "chaos" to the local daily newspaper L'Avenir, saying that the front two carriages had been destroyed.

The circumstances of the accident were not immediately clear, with questions remaining over whether the passenger train was able to brake before the crash.

"The priority is to care for the victims," Infrabel and SNCB said, but added that information was already being analysed to determine how the crash took place.

A crisis centre was set up at the scene of the accident.

Read more on:    belgium

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