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Location: Middleburg (Jacksonville), Florida, United States

Published in Trains magazine, Railfan & Railroad, Passenger Train Journal

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Thirteen feared dead in SNCF wreck

A double-decker passenger train from Luxembourg collided head-on with a freight train in northeastern France on Wednesday, killing as many as 13 people, state SNCF railways said. Some 20 others were injured in the crash at Zoufftgen, about 12 miles south of Luxembourg.

Rail officials said the trains were traveling on the same track because of maintenance work on a parallel track, and slammed into each other in a wooded area in Zoufftegen, Reuters reported.

More than four hours after the crash, some bodies were still trapped in the mangled wreck, and emergency services did not rule out finding more victims.

“It is terrible,’’ said Patrick Hatzig, a vice-president of the Lorraine regional council.

“There was a head-on collision. Some people were seriously injured and have been moved (to a hospital). Others are still trapped in there,’’ he told Reuters from the site of the crash.

The passenger train consisted of just three coaches, and was heading from Luxembourg to the French city of Nancy.

Seconds after crossing into France, at around 11.45 a.m., it slammed into the freight train, which had 22 cars and was making its way to Luxembourg.

“We imagine that the trains were traveling at a high speed,’’ said SNCF spokesman Guillaume Pepy.

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