Published: Sun, December 17, 2017
Culture | By Wayne Carr

Four children die as train hits school bus in southwestern France

Four children die as train hits school bus in southwestern France

A level crossing was wide open when a school bus was cut in two when a train crashed into it, killing five children, the bus driver claimed yesterday.

The bus was carrying pupils from a local school when it was hit by a train travelling at about 80km/h (50mph).

Investigators told the agency that witnesses reported the train crossing?s barriers were working normally, and that it is unclear whether a technical malfunction of human error was responsible for the tragedy.

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The interior ministry said seven people were seriously injured among the 19. Rail travel is severely disrupted.

Carole Delga, president of the Occitanie regional council, said the level crossing appeared to be in very good condition and had been upgraded recently.

Condoling the loss, France's President Emmanuel Macron tweeted in French that his thoughts are with the bereaved families.

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"Everyone has been touched and the trauma is going to last", French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said of the shock to the small town. "The authorities are fully mobilised to come to their aid".

Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer will visit a counselling centre that has been set up at the Christian Bourquin College in Millas on Friday. The views expressed therein are not necessarily those of, its sponsors or advertisers.

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