'Track fault' in Paris crash

The train derailment that killed at least six people in central France on Friday may have been caused by a loose steel plate at a junction, French train operator SNCF said.

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Track fault 'may have caused' French train crash

The train derailment that killed at least six people in central France may have been caused by a loose steel plate at a junction, French train operator SNCF said.

The train was travelling from Paris to Limoges when it crashed
The train was travelling from Paris to Limoges when it crashed Credit: REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

The steel plate, which should have remained bolted onto the track, moved to "the middle of the track junction", preventing the rolling stock from passing through, Pierre Izard of SNCF said today.

"The reasons why this fishplate dislocated itself is the very focus of the investigations," SNCF head Guillaume Pepy said.

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Minister: Human error did not cause Paris train crash

A human error did not cause a train to derail outside Paris that left six people dead, the French transport minister said.

The train crash near Paris left six dead. Credit: RTV

The train, which left the French capital on Friday night, jumped the track just a few miles into its journey as it traveled through a small town station.

Transport Minister Frederic Cuvillier said it was unclear what caused France's deadliest crash in years but he added that authorities were looking into a possible error in the switching system - which guides trains from one track to another.

Mr Cuvillier said 30 people were injured after the crash and that it was impossible to know whether anyone was still trapped in the carriage until it is lifted.

Read: Six killed in Paris train crash

French train passengers tell of crash ordeal

by - Europe Correspondent

The passengers who were on the train have given very vivid and disturbing descriptions of the crash. They said they were going at a fair speed when they heard a strange noise.

One woman I spoke to, Anne-Marie - who was going on holiday, said the carriage started to sway from side to side and then toppled over.

This is the worst French rail accident since 1988 Credit: Twitter/ @AichaKurdish

She managed to get herself out, but she saw others who had been extremely badly injured.

Another passenger, who was in the fifth carriage, said he heard the noise as he felt the train coming off the tracks. When he looked behind, there were no carriages left.

Foreign Secretary 'shocked' by France train crash

Foreign Secretary William Hague sent condolences after at least six people were reportedly killed in a train crash south of Paris:

I was shocked to hear about the serious train crash outside Paris. My thoughts are with the victims and their families. The British Embassy in Paris is in close touch with the French authorities and stands by to provide any assistance required.

– William Hague

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