At least 25 people were injured, four of them seriously, when a high-speed TGV train collided with a regional express train in southern France on Thursday.
Among those badly injured were a baby, a 10-year-old boy, a woman and the driver of the regional express train.
The high-speed train carrying 178 people collided with the regional express, which had 70 passengers, near the town of Denguin, on the line between Pau and Bayonne in the south-west of the country, local officials said. The crash happened about 17 kilometres (10 miles) from Pau.
The worst casualties were in a “terrible state”, a rescue worker said.
Two of them were airlifted to hospital, police told Le Figaro newspaper.
Four of the injuries were described as serious but no fatalities were expected, Patrice Abbadie, Pyrenees-Atlantiques prefectural spokesman said.
A medical unit was set up at a nearby school. The TGV was travelling at less than 20 miles per hour when the collision occurred, but nevertheless the impact was “extremely violent”, according to a local journalist at the scene.
It was unclear why it was moving so slowly. One report said it had stopped briefly but was moving again at the time of the collision, which occurred when the regional train rammed the high-speed TGV train from behind.
Both trains were badly damaged, with the front of the express train crumpled and the rear of the TGV reduced to a mass of twisted metal.
Initial reports from witnesses said the regional express hit the back of the TGV at about 5.30pm.
Twelve ambulances and a helicopter were rushed to the site of the crash, where police and firefighters had already arrived and were helping to extricate the injured from the wreckage. Twelve ambulances and a helicopter were rushed The cause of the accident was not immediately known, but the French state rail operator, SNCF, launched an immediate investigation.
All train services between Pau and Bayonne were suspended after the crash.
The collision came just over a year after a rail crash in Brétigny, outside Paris, in which seven people died and dozens were injured.
A recent report into the crash highlighted the poor state of the French rail network, blaming poor maintenance checks.
The report, released on the anniversary of that crash, was compiled by engineers appointed by a court to investigate the cause of the accident.
It said the poor state of the track meant that a tragedy was inevitable.
The report said the train had been derailed by a faulty fishplate – a link between two pieces of rail. It gave details of about 100 defects on the track, several of which had been known months before the crash but had not been corrected.
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Depth: 46 km
Distances: 709 km NW of Honiara, Solomon Islands / pop: 56,298 / local time: 05:08:37.0 2014-07-18
311 km SE of Kokopo, Papua New Guinea / pop: 26,273 / local time: 04:08:37.0 2014-07-18
114 km W of Panguna, Papua New Guinea / pop: 2,916 / local time: 04:08:37.0 2014-07-18
A Malaysian flight with 280 passengers and 15 crew members on board crashed in Ukraine near the Russian border, the Interfax news agency reported Thursday.
“A Malaysia Airlines 777, which was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, started descending 50 kilometers before entering Russian airspace, and was subsequently found burning on the ground in Ukrainian territory,” Interfax quoted an aviation source as saying.
The plane disappeared from radar at 10,000 meters and then crashed near the city of Shakhtarsk in Ukraine’s Donetsk region, the news agency reported, citing Ukrainian law enforcement authorities.
A group of emergencies service is on the way to the scene.
According to the Interfax, an advisor to Ukrainian Interior Minister Anton Herashchenko wrote on his Facebook that “280 passengers and 15 crew members have been killed.”
There are also reports saying the plane was shot down by the eastern Ukrainian militias, which was immediately denied by the leadership of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, as the Interfax reported.
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Depth: 14 km
Distances: 95km (59mi) NNW of Yakutat, Alaska
300km (186mi) W of Whitehorse, Canada
411km (255mi) NW of Juneau, Alaska
512km (318mi) E of Knik-Fairview, Alaska
523km (325mi) E of Anchorage, Alaska
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Distances: 136 km E of Kaohsiung, Taiwan / pop: 1,519,711 / local time: 14:11:51.5 2014-07-17
74 km SE of Taitung City, Taiwan / pop: 110,941 / local time: 14:11:51.5 2014-07-17