French minister: 7 dead in train derailment near Paris

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PARIS — At least seven people were killed and tens of others were injured Friday when a train derailed in Bretigny sur Orge, French Interior Minister Manuel Vals told reporters Friday.

Bretigny sur Orge is just south of Paris.

It’s still unknown what caused the derailment of the regional train that left the Paris-Austerlitz station Friday afternoon, said Guillaume Pepy, president of SNCF, the French national railways company.

The train was passing through the Bretigny sur Orge station without stopping, since it did not have a scheduled stop there, he said.

It was bound for the city of Limoges, Vals said.

Passengers were still being rescued around 7 p.m. local time, Pepy added, and firefighters were on the scene and assisting victims. There were about 370 people aboard the train, he said.

Experts are there and have begun an investigation.

“The first thought we all have is one of solidarity towards the victims and their families, and we feel a strong emotion because rail accidents are upsetting to the whole public …,” Pepy said, becoming emotional as he spoke.

Earlier Friday, French police said that at least eight people had been killed, according to CNN affiliate BFMTV.

SNCF characterized what happened Friday as an accident and said rail traffic was interrupted.

A photo aired on BFMTV showed part of the train lying on the station’s platform.
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