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Woman and three children killed as train smashes into car at level crossing in France

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Woman and three children killed as train smashes into car at level crossing in France
Not all level crossings in France have barriers. Photo: AFP
13:09 CEST+02:00
A woman and three children have died after their vehicle was hit by a train at a level crossing in France.

Four other people were slightly injured in the crash, which happened on Monday morning near Avenay-Val-d'Or, in the Marne region of north east France.

The TER local train from Epernay collided with the car on a level crossing.

READ ALSO Why are level crossings so dangerous in France?

Four passengers on the train were slightly injured in the collision while the driver is reported to be uninjured but extremely shocked.

A psychological support unit has been set up by the Marne prefecture at the Avenay-Val-d'Or festival hall.

Every year hundreds of people in France are injured at levels crossings, and dozens more lose their lives.

In all, France has over 15,000 level crossings on its rail network, some of which are considered more dangerous than others. While over 10,000 have automatic barriers and warning lights, not all do.

French rail operator SNCF is working on upgrading the unfenced crossings, but said that many of the crashes are caused by drivers ignoring warnings and trying to 'dodge' the barriers.

It is not clear whether the Avenay-Val-d'Or crossing was gated and an investigation into the crash has now been launched.

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