Jean-christophe Verhaegen  /  AFP - Getty Images
Emergency workers respond to a train crash in the village of Zoufftgen, France, where two trains collided.
updated 10/11/2006 1:36:49 PM ET 2006-10-11T17:36:49

A passenger train collided Wednesday with an oncoming freight train in northeastern France, killing at least five people and trapping others in the twisted wreckage, officials said.

The impact of the crash lifted one of the passenger train’s cars on top of another, compressing it. Several cars of the freight train were either crumpled, bent skyward or tipped over on their sides. More than 300 police and rescue workers from both France and Luxembourg were at the scene.

Five people were confirmed dead in the crash at Zoufftgen, about a mile south of the border, and an unknown number of others were trapped, said Lorraine region authorities.

They said the two train drivers and a person who was working on the tracks were among the dead. At least five other people were injured, two seriously, and 10 were treated for shock.
The top French official for the Lorraine region, Pierre-Rene Lemas, said rescue work would continue through the night.

The passenger train was traveling from Luxembourg to the French city of Nancy. The train line it was traveling on was being repaired, so it switched onto a second track, hitting the oncoming freight train, said France’s SNCF rail operator.

SNCF director-general Guillaume Pepy said the 22-car freight train had a green light at the time of the crash, and said there were no signs of speeding.

President Jacques Chirac ordered the government to “oversee the mobilization of all rescue services and quickly bring to light the circumstances of this dramatic accident,” his office said.

© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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