• France's news in English

Marseille train crash leaves dozens injured

Ben McPartland · 16 Apr 2013, 13:22

Published: 16 Apr 2013 13:22 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The accident occurred at around 8.40 am on a stretch of line between Miramas and Marseille centre, in the northern 16th arrondissement of the Meditterranean city, according to train operator SNCF.

According to initial reports the train collided with a crane on top of the vehicle, which caused the crane to collapse and embed itself into one of the train's carriages. The driver of the train managed to escape unhurt but was left in shock, French media reported.

The truck-driver, aged in his 40s, was more seriously injured and evacuated to a nearby hospital, where he is not reported to be in a life-threatening condition, according to regional daily La Provence.

Of the 75 passengers on board, 31 were injured, with the vast majority suffering bruises and shock from the sudden impact of the crash. They were transported by bus and other non-emergency means to a local hospital, according to reports by La Provence and French television TF1.

One passenger described two impacts - one from the initial collision between the train and construction vehicle, and a second from the collapsed crane entering the train's first carriage.

"One woman found herself with the crane practically at her knees. She thought she was going to die," the passenger was quoted as saying by La Provence.

Another testified to the frightening ordeal. "Some people were crying, and others were in shock. I was on a fold-up seat, so [upon impact] I slumped to the ground, and hurt my wrists."

Speculation over the cause of the accident continued on Tuesday afternoon, with the RFF rail company (Réseau ferré de France) claiming that at the time of the crash, traffic signals at the level crossing were working properly.

Story continues below…

The company also claimed that barriers at the crossing were fully functional, and that the train tracks had recently been changed, according to TF1.

The local police's criminal and safety division is pursuing the possibility that the driver of the truck was on the phone at the time of the collision, after allegedly finding his mobile phone close to the scene of the crash, according to La Provence.

Ben McPartland (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Calais migrants given mixed reception in French towns
Photo: AFP

Some in France have shown solidarity with their new guests, while others have made it clear they are not welcome.

Lonely Planet says Bordeaux is world's best city to visit
The fantastic new Bordeaux wine museum. Photo: AFP

After The Local France, the Lonely Planet has followed suit by urging everyone to head to Bordeaux in 2017.

Jungle shacks set ablaze and torn down as camp razed
All photos: AFP

IN PICTURES: The razing of the Jungle has finally begun.

Frenchwoman finds WW1 grenade among her spuds
Photo: AFP

It could have been a very explosive family dinner.

Refugee crisis
What rights to a future in France for Calais migrants?
Photo: AFP

What does the future hold for the migrants of the Jungle? Can they work or claim social benefits or travel freely inside Europe?

Pampers nappies 'contain carcinogenics': French study
Photo: Robert Valencia/Flick

The substances in the nappies are meant to prevent skin irritation but are cancerous, the study concludes.

France to scrap special prison wings for dangerous jihadists
Photo: AFP

The experiment has been ditched.

Myth busting: Half of French adults are now overweight
A model at the Pulp Fiction fashion show in Paris that represents society's diverse spectrum . Photo: AFP

Hold on, aren't the French all meant to be finely toned specimens with not an ounce of fat on them?

France poised to send bulldozers into Calais Jungle
Photo: AFP

As hundreds of migrants leave, the bulldozers are set to tear down the sprawling Calais shanty town on Tuesday.

UK to spend €40 million on securing Calais border
Photo: AFP

Britain spending big on security in Calais.

The annoying questions only a half French, half Brit can answer
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Forget Brangelina's chateau - here are nine others you've got to see
The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
jobs available