Paris Train Crash The train derailment which killed at least six people in France on Friday may have been caused by a loose steel plate on the track, the train operator says, as rescuers hunt for any trapped survivors.
The incident came as many French families began to embark on their summer holiday getaways, and marred festivities for Bastille Day on 14 of July.
A loose steel plate at a junction may have caused the derailment of a packed train outside Paris that left at least six people dead and dozens injured.
Pierre Izard, a general manager of the SNCF national rail company, said the steel plate, which should have remained bolted onto the track, moved to “the middle of the track junction”.
The detached joint “prevented the normal progression of the train’s wheels and seems to have caused the train’s derailment,” he said.
“The reasons why this fishplate dislocated itself is the very focus of the investigations,” SNCF head Guillaume Pepy said, adding the train operator would immediately start checking some 5,000 similar junctions throughout the French rail network.
Workers spent the night cutting through tangled metal, but found no more victims. A crane was brought in to lift a carriage that fell onto its side and others torn open in the accident.
Local Essonne region prefect Michel Fuzeau said more bodies might still be found in the wreckage and under the tilted carriage but the rescue team’s dogs had not detected any more casualties so far.
“We maintain our rescue operation,” he said.
Transport Minister Frederic Cuvillier told France Info the accident could have been worse if the driver had not reacted quickly to avoid hitting another train 200 metres away.