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Bretigny crash: Safety checks and bolts blamed

Joshua Melvin · 10 Jan 2014, 12:40

Published: 10 Jan 2014 12:40 GMT+01:00

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France’s national transport investigation body on Friday blamed inadequate safety checks and problems with bolts for a fatal train derailment near Paris that killed seven people and injured dozens.

The Land Transport Accident Investigation Bureau (BEA) did not, as expected, identify maintenance errors as the cause of the July 2013 crash in the southern Paris suburb of Brétigny-sur-Orge, but rather focused on the quality of visual safety checks and track bolts.

The agency said if closer attention had been paid to the state of the tracks, authorities could have noticed bolts were missing, French newspaper Le Figaro reported. France’s national rail company SNCF had already revealed in the days after the crash that a bar that came loose from the track was the immediate cause of the derailment.

The rail investigation office noted the problems with the tracks were not visible to the naked eye, which brings into question the limits of visual safety checks.

In a statement from SNCF, the rail agency said it has already beefed up its safety checks system with a new €410 million program to reinforce safety and maintenance.

"This report will be taken into account," the agency wrote. "It will allow SNCF and RFF to reinforce the safety of the rail system."

Story continues below…

The deadly crash shocked a country that prides itself on its top notch rail system. The derailment occured when an Intercité Teoz train was heading to the town of Limoges from the Paris Austerlitz station. It was carrying around 370 passengers when the train came offth track and slammed into a platform. 

Joshua Melvin (joshua.melvin@thelocal.com)

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