One killed by TGV crash with lorry

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A File photo of a TGV train in Paris

A French truck driver was killed and 34 rail passengers injured on Tuesday when a TGV (Train à Grande Vitesse) train impacted a lorry in Eastern France near Switzerland, according to officials.

The TGV, which was travelling from Paris to Geneva, rammed into the truck which had become stuck on a level crossing, at around 9:30 a.m. CET (UTC+1) near the eastern town of Tossiat. The lorry driver died on the scene and the train driver was seriously injured in the crash.

Officials have said that the accident involved a lorry that was carrying a cement mixing unit and that it had become stuck on the level crossing for an unknown reason, and was trapped in by the barriers when they went down. However, police officials have said that the driver had managed to leave the cabin of his truck, and that he was most likely moving to leave the level crossing by foot when the train impacted.

Travelling at around 100 kilometres (65 miles) per hour, the TGV was derailed, causing the SNCF (the French National Rail Service) to deviate all trains on the Paris–Geneva service via Lyon for the next 48 hours.

The train's remaining 160 passengers were safely evacuated.