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Fatal train collision in Belgium disrupts northern europe rail system.


metsfan

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http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8515855.stm

 

Two passenger trains in Belgium have collided head-on near the capital, Brussels, with the latest reports of the death toll ranging from 10 to 25.

Railway officials said the trains collided during the morning rush hour at Halle, south-west of Brussels.

 

_47302770_trains_ap.jpg

 

The national railway said 25 people had died. Other officials said there had been at least 10 deaths.

 

Belgian media said the trains collided in snowy conditions. Trains to southern Belgium and beyond have been cancelled.

 

'Enormous devastation'

The trains collided in the commuter town around 0830 local time (0730GMT) on Monday.

 

Television pictures showed carriages pushed up at an angle or leaning to the side from the force of the crash.

 

Witnesses said people were thrown around violently inside the trains with one passenger describing the "carriages compacted together" by the collision.

 

Emergency workers said there was considerable damage to the overhead power lines at the station in Buizingen, the district of Halle where the trains crashed.

 

Belgium's track operator Infrabel said an investigation into the accident was under way.

 

"The devastation is enormous," said Infrabel spokesman Bram De Saedeleer.

 

"Officials of the public prosecutor's office are at the scene and will supervise the investigation. Our first concern is for the victims."

 

Doctors were treating some of the injured at the scene of the crash while others had been taken to nearby hospitals.

 

Lightly injured passengers were taken to a sports hall for treatment.

Belgian broadcaster VRT reported that sources with the national railway operator said 25 people had been killed.

 

Local mayor Dirk Pieters said "the most recent information we have is that 20 people died... I base this on what the police and firefighters tell me."

But the governor of Flemish Brabant province, Lodewijk De Witte, told VRT that 10 people were killed.

 

Train service disrupted

Infrabel said one train had been going from Leuven to Braine-le-Comte while the second train had been travelling from Quievrain to Liege.

 

_47301849_bel_halle_226.gif

 

Rail services between Brussels and the south west of Belgium have been disrupted.

 

There are no services between Brussels and Tournai or Mons. And Eurostar said its Brussels trains, including those to and from the UK, were cancelled until further notice.

 

One Eurostar passenger bound for Brussels told the BBC his train had been stopped at Lille and passengers put on buses to the Belgian capital.

Other high-speed trains between Paris and Brussels have also been cancelled.

 

There has been no indication of what caused the collision but it comes after a weekend of snow and freezing temperatures across Belgium.

 

In 2001, eight people were killed and 12 were injured in a head-on collision between commuter trains outside Brussels. It was thought that language difficulties between a Flemish-speaking signalman and a French-speaking colleague were a factor in that crash.

 

Another accident in 2008 left more than 40 people injured when a passenger train travelling in the wrong direction hit a goods train in central Belgium, AFP news agency said

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Very sad. B)

 

- A

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These are the lower speed people mover trains, similar to (NJT)'s arrow 3 operations but on a larger scale. They are largely kept off the high speed tracks, though they may run parallel to those lines. I believe that red one is a SNBC commuter train, not sure though.

 

- A

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wow looks really bad,and what makes it worse,the trains have graffiti on them.Hopefully train systems around the world look in to railway safety.

 

Vandals purposely target these trains for some reason.

 

- A

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