• France's news in English

Car plunges into path of speeding French train

Ben McPartland · 11 Oct 2013, 09:27

Published: 11 Oct 2013 09:27 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The accident took place on Thursday evening around 9.30pm at Champtocé-sur-Loire near the town of Angers.

According to reports the car crashed through the barrier on a bridge over the train line and plummeted on to the tracks below.

The driver may have survived the fall but seconds later a TGV train heading from Paris to Nantes, carrying 500 passengers ploughed into the car at 200km/h.

Passengers reported a “violent collision” and the train reportedly carried on travelling for a further two km with the wreckage of the car trapped underneath it, before it finally came to a halt.

The 26-year-old woman, who was driving the vehicle was killed instantly. Investigators are still unclear what had happened the moments before her car crashed through the barriers on the bridge.

The mayor of the local town questionedwhether she may have been driving too fast.

The bridge in question "is after a turn in an area where the speed limit is 70km/h. So at night, if you take this turn 110 or 120km/h then yes, it is dangerous,” the mayor said.

“We felt it had hit something metal,” said one passenger. “We felt it go under the train and it made a lot of noise. The driver braked very fast.”

French rail operator SNCF praised the driver for taking the necessary steps to prevent a possible disaster.

“The driver carried out all the correct safety measures to bring the train to a halt and stop other rail traffic on the line,” a spokeswoman said.

The passengers on the train escaped without injury. The TGV remained blocked on the track for two hours. Another train had to be despatched to pick up the passengers, who eventually arrived in Nantes five hours late.

Don't miss a story about France - Join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Ben McPartland (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
France given wake up call as it bids for Brexit business
The business district 'La Defense' in Paris. Photo: AFP

France clearly has some work to do if it really wants to pinch business from the UK post-Brexit.

Mouth fun? French words you just can't translate literally
Do you know the French word for throat-support? Photo: AFP

Word of warning: Don't translate French literally.

How France plans to help its stressed-out police force
Yellow smoke rises around French police officers in Paris holding a banner reading "Solidarity with our colleagues, police angry". All photos: AFP

Could these measures stop the cops from protesting?

'3,000 migrants dispersed' after 'Jungle' clearance
Photo: AFP

While thousands of migrants have been bussed out around France, new ones are arriving all the time and thousands of others have simply been dispersed aid agencies say.

Fifteen of the most bizarre laws in France
Photo: Matthew Powell/Flickr

A must read for anyone who wants to stay on the right side of the law in France.

Medieval town in south of France upholds ban on UFOs
The town of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Photo: Aa77zz/Flickr

Aliens take note.

American tourist dies at French Riviera sex club
The Riviera resort of Cannes. Photo: AFP

American tourist reportedly fell five floors after being pushed outside the underground sex club in Cannes.

Paris: 'Flying' water taxis to be tested on River Seine
Photo: SeaBubbles

An in Seine idea surely? But tests will go ahead.

France joins fight for rich pickings from post-Brexit UK
Photo: AFP/DcnH/Flickr

France tries to woo EU's bank regulator and other agencies.

How speaking French can really mess up your English
Photo: CollegeDegree360/Flickr

So you've mastered French, but now it's time to learn English all over again.

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