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French TER Train Collides With Tree Between Nimes and Montpellier

A passenger train in southern France collided with a tree that was blown onto the track during a severe storm.

At least a dozen people were wounded Wednesday when a passenger train in southern France collided with a downed tree on the tracks, officials said.

The incident occurred between the cities of Nimes and Montpellier, which experienced violent storms on Wednesday afternoon.

Three people were seriously wounded and 10 others suffered minor injuries after the accident, France's state-owned rail company SNCF told NBC News, saying that storms knocked the tree onto the tracks.

Passenger Chrystopher Barolin was further down the train but saw one casualty being airlifted from the scene by helicopter, and others being taken away in ambulances.

"There was really bad weather," the 26-year-old radio journalist told NBC News. "A tree fell and crashed into the train."

Pictures posted to social media showed the mangled front end of the engine and damage inside at least one of the cars.

SNCF said the train's average speed on that line is around 93 mph. Service on the route was stopped in the aftermath of the accident.

Barolin said passengers were forced to wait outside the train despite the bad whether following the incident because the lack of air conditioning made the cars unbearably hot.

People across the region posted pictures to social media showing torrential hailstorms around the time of the accident.