3 Dead, 40 Injured as Trains Collide in Belgium


A passenger train rear-ended a freight train on Sunday night in eastern Belgium, and local officials said three people had been killed and about 40 others injured.

According to Belgian RTBF state broadcasting, the accident occurred in eastern Liege province at Hermalle-sous-Huy, on the banks of the Meuse river, ABC News reports.

The Blegian broadcaster quoted the mayor of the commune of Saint-Georges-sur-Meuse, Francis Dejon, as saying the collision had been “very violent.”

Frederic Sacre, spokesman for Infrabel, the company that manages Belgium’s rail network, was quoted by La Libre Belgique newspaper as saying the trains had been traveling on the same track, and that the passenger train hit the freight train from behind.

Dejon said three people were killed in the wreck and about 40 hurt, but said those numbers could change.

RTL broadcasting said the passenger train carrying about 40 people had been traveling at 55 mph (90 kph) when it hit the freight train shortly after 11 p.m., and that two of its six cars had derailed and tumbled onto their side.

“All our services are mobilized, and are completely cooperating with rescue services,” Infrabel and SNCB, the company that operates Belgian trains, said in a statement.

By 2 a.m. Monday, all passengers had been freed from the wrecked cars, RTL said. It said some of the survivors were taken to a nearby abbey. Others were reportedly transported to a local sports center, where they were being offered psychological counseling.

Police and firefighters from the nearby city of Liege were dispatched to the scene to assist, local sources said.

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