Wednesday 28 September 2016

Three dead and 40 others injured after train crash in Belgium

Published 06/06/2016 | 06:40

Rescue workers stand near the wreckage of a train crash in Hermalle-sous-Huy, near Liege, Belgium
Rescue workers stand near the wreckage of a train crash in Hermalle-sous-Huy, near Liege, Belgium
Rescue workers stand near the wreckage of a train crash in Hermalle-sous-Huy, near Liege, Belgium

Three people are reported to have been killed and about 40 others injured after a passenger train smashed into the back of a freight train in eastern Belgium.

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RTBF state broadcasting said the accident happened at Hermalle-sous-Huy, on the banks of the Meuse river, in Liege province, late on Sunday.

The mayor of Saint-Georges-sur-Meuse district, Francis Dejon, said the collision had been "very violent".

Mr Dejon said three people were killed and about 40 hurt, but those numbers could change.

Rescue workers stand near the wreckage of a train crash in Hermalle-sous-Huy, near Liege, Belgium
Rescue workers stand near the wreckage of a train crash in Hermalle-sous-Huy, near Liege, Belgium

Frederic Sacre, a spokesman for Infrabel, the company that manages Belgium's rail network, told La Libre Belgique newspaper the trains had been travelling on the same track and that the passenger train hit the freight train from behind.

RTL said the passenger train, carrying about 40 people, had been traveling at 55mph when it hit the freight train shortly after 11pm and that two of its six carriages had derailed and toppled on to their sides.

"All our services are mobilised and are completely co-operating with rescue services," Infrabel and SNCB, the company that operates Belgian trains, said.

By 2am on Monday, all passengers had been freed, RTL said. Some of the survivors were taken to a nearby abbey and others were reportedly transported to a local sports centre, where they were being offered counselling.

Police and firefighters from the nearby city of Liege were dispatched to the scene.

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