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Published on : Thursday, August 18, 2016
The train reportedly crashed into a tree that had been left on the tracks following a heavy thunderstorm.
According to preliminary reports, the train hit the obstacle, leaving the engine completely destroyed and both the bumper and windshield smashing.
A local emergency services spokesman said that, there was a storm with masses of hail, rain and high winds. A large tree was dislodged and then collapsed in the path of an oncoming train, causing a great deal of damage.
The incident, which occurred while the train was reportedly battered by heavy rain, took place on a line between the towns of Nimes and Montpellier about 4pm.
About 200 people had been on the train at the time of the incident with 70 fire fighters and 40 emergency vehicles heading to the scene.
Pictures taken by passengers and posted on social media showed extensive damage to at least one carriage and broken glass strewn across the floor.
Paramedic Captain Mercier confirmed that one passenger had been critically injured with a dozen badly hurt and another 50 suffering minor injuries.
Images of the scene show the remains of the tree on the track, with the huge branches covering the tracks.
Buses have now been brought in to take passengers back to Montpellier.
Train tracks have been closed in both directions with the Red Cross called in.