A rush hour commuter train crash is a Paris suburb has resulted in at least seven deaths and an untold number of injuries, according to local reports emerging after the afternoon crash.
The crash occurred as a commuter train arrived at a stop in the southern suburb of Brétigny-sur-Orge, shortly after 5 p.m. local time. French rail operators have said it is unclear what caused the crash.
The Telegraph reports that a red alert was issued and that train officials have confirmed that more than 385 people were on board the passenger train when it crashed. France's interior minister has said that "at least seven" deaths have been reported, but that number is likely to go up as the scope of the accident becomes clear.
French train operator, SNCF, released a statement confirming that four train cars slipped off the track, one of which had tipped onto its side. The company expressed its sadness at the incident and promised to mobilize its resources to help affected travellers. It suggested other rail commuters in the area postpone their journey.
Reports from French news organizations suggest the number of casualties could be higher and suggest some people have been crushed or electrocuted at the crash site. Emergency crews are on the scene.
The Local, an English-language news organization in France, says people remain trapped in the train. "The train arrived at the station at high speed. It split in two for an unknown reason. Part of the train continued to roll while the other was left on its side on the platform," a police source told The Local.
The train was heading to the city of Limoges during the Friday afternoon rush hour.
Images captured at the scene and posted online show a chaotic scene surrounding several train cars that have slipped off the track. Some cars have collapsed ceilings and other cars have been tipped onto their sides. Part of the train station also appears to have been damaged in the crash.
Accident les pompiers arrivent pic.twitter.com/uiHMl6MNYl— Aurélien (@flacaure) July 12, 2013