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A high-speed TGV train has derailed near the eastern French city of Strasbourg, killing at least 10 people, officials say.
The crash happened during a test run in the town of Eckwersheim, on a new Paris-Strasbourg line.
The train was carrying 49 railway technicians when it derailed, caught fire, and plunged into a canal. Eleven people suffered serious injuries. (Edited - Updates now indicate at least 10 fatalities)
The derailment was due to "excessive speed", officials say.
More info on the French TGV accident. This report indicates that it may have been caused by human error, compounded by the fact that overspeed devices were intentionally locked out to allow for testing at speeds higher than planned operating speed as part of the line acceptance testing. The train came into a curve too fast, most likely due to operator error, derailed and struck an overpass. A tragic scenario that we've seen before.
Instrumented TGV 2N2 EuroDuplex set 744, which had been undertaking commissioning tests on the new line since September, left the tracks at high speed on a curve near Eckwersheim, shortly before the junction at Vendenheim about 12 km north of Strasbourg. Around 50 people were thought to be on board, of which 11 are confirmed killed and 37 injured, including 12 seriously hurt. The train was reported to be carrying unauthorised guests including children, who were understood to be family and friends of the test team.
Around 15.10 on Saturday afternoon, the TGV had been travelling towards Strasbourg on the southern track, which will mainly be used by westbound services. It overturned on a curved embankment before striking the parapet of a bridge over the Marne-Rhine canal. The vehicles were flung into adjacent farmland and the rear power car ended up in the water. Three enquiries are in progress to determine the cause of the derailment.
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