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French tourists killed as bus hits train

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17:22 CEST+02:00

Three French tourists died and 23 more were injured when the bus they were traveling on collided with a train in the Dominican Republic, officials said Friday.

French Deputy Consul Marie-Hélène Papi was deployed to the eastern region of Higuey where the accident happened to coordinate the repatriation of the dead and the injured and help with insurance matters.

"Everything is being coordinated, our consul is in place and liaising with the foreign ministry's crisis cell in Paris to sort everything out," an embassy official told AFP.

In Paris, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius confirmed the deaths of two men and a woman.

"A terrible collision between a train and French tourist bus occurred in Higuey causing the death of three of our compatriots and injuring 23 others, one of them seriously," Fabius said in a written statement.

Dominican officials said that eyewitness reports suggested that the bus driver failed to heed signals at a level crossing warning of the approaching train, which was carrying sugar cane.

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