A derailed tourist train in the French Alps killed two and
injured at least seven people. The acident was caused by a
huge falling rock, which partly pushed one of its carriages
over the edge of a mountain slope in Annot. Photo by
A huge falling rock has derailed a train in the French
Alps, killing two people and partly pushing one of its
carriages over the edge of a mountain slope.
Nine people were injured, one of them seriously, in the
accident, which occurred on Saturday morning on a train line
popular with tourists between the villages of Saint-Benoit
and Annot in southeastern France, the officials said.
"An enormous rock broke off from the mountain and hit the
side of the train with extreme force," Charbel Aboud, deputy
prefect for the region, told a news conference, adding it may
have weighed as much as 20 tonnes.
The two dead were a French woman from the region and a
Russian woman who was travelling with her husband, he said.
Officials said it was the first such accident known on the
line and it was unclear why such a large rock fell.
"It is too early to establish what were the factors, notably
the weather conditions, that may have led to this boulder to
break off," Transport Minister Frederic Cuvillier told
Southeastern France has experienced extremely wet weather in
the past month, leading to flooding in the coastal Var region
and mirroring floods in the northwest.
Netting is used along the line to prevent rockfalls, local
Seven people were killed last year when a mainline train
derailed south of Paris in an accident that has been
attributed to a fault on the track. (Reporting by
Jean-Francois Rosnoblet and Marine Pennetier, additional
reporting and writing by Gus Trompiz; Editing by Gareth