Officials describe an "apocalyptic" scene in Brétigny-sur-Orge, just 12 miles south of the city.

A commuter train derailed in the Paris suburb of Brétigny-sur-Orge earlier today, killing at least six people and injuring dozens more.  The crowded train left Paris during the Friday evening rush hour, and was headed for Limoges. It derailed at the Brétigny-sur-Orge station, 12 miles south of the city.


View Larger Map

Officials say 385 passengers were on board when the train derailed. Brétigny's mayor Bernard Decaux described the scenes as "apocalyptic" to the French newspaper Le Parisien. Interior minister Manuel Valls told reporters that "the death toll is evolving constantly at this point and unfortunately it will probably rise."

According to France24, a passenger told a French television station that the train was going "at a normal speed and was not meant to stop at Brétigny-sur-Orge." Two train cars initially derailed, with the remainder either leaning off the rails or falling over.

Twitter user @belkiess was on the platform, taking some of the earliest photographs on scene:

And here are some images from Reuters:

Firefighters are seen on the roof of train at the Bretigny-sur-Orge station near Paris July 12, 2013. (REUTERS/Benoit Tessier) 
(REUTERS/Benoit Tessier)
Injured persons get medical assistance next to the scene of an intercity train accident at the Bretigny-sur-Orge train station near Paris July 12, 2013. (REUTERS/Kenzo Tribouillard)
French railway employees escort passengers from the scene at the Bretigny-sur-Orge train station. (REUTERS/Benoit Tessier)

French President Francois Hollande comforts victims during a visit to the site of the intercity train accident at the Bretigny-sur-Orge. (REUTERS/Kenzo Tribouillard)

The accident comes as the country preps for start their summer vacation travels for Bastille Day weekend, France's biggest holiday.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Equity

    Why Are So Many People In San Jose Fighting Housing for Teachers?

    The school system’s plan to build affordable apartment units for the city’s teachers has triggered a fierce backlash in one affluent area.

  2. A pink-shaded map of Los Angeles showing student debt burden
    Equity

    The Neighborhoods Buried In Student Debt

    How much of your paycheck goes towards student loans?

  3. Life

    How Manhattan Became a Rich Ghost Town

    New York’s empty storefronts are a dark omen for the future of cities.

  4. vacant store fronts in mining town in Arizona
    Equity

    America’s Worsening Geographic Inequality

    The economic gap between have and have-not places continues to widen.

  5. Transportation

    Why Public Transportation Works Better Outside the U.S.

    The widespread failure of American mass transit is usually blamed on cheap gas and suburban sprawl. But the full story of why other countries succeed is more complicated.