Belgian Officials: 3 Dead, 9 Hospitalized in Train Wreck - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Belgian Officials: 3 Dead, 9 Hospitalized in Train Wreck

Posted:

(ABC) -- A late-night passenger train slammed into the rear of a halted freight train in eastern Belgium, killing three people and injuring at least nine others, authorities said Monday.

Two cars from the train derailed and tumbled onto their side when it slammed into the freight train around 11 p.m. on Sunday at a speed of 55 mph (90 kph) on the banks of the Meuse river near Liege, RTL broadcasting said.

Nine people were hospitalized, some in critical condition, and the death toll could rise, said Francis Dejon, mayor of the commune of St. Georges-sur-Meuse.

Twenty-seven other passengers were examined and treated at the scene as a result of the accident.

"The passenger train is really in a lamentable state," Dejon told a news conference. "We've very lucky there weren't more victims."

The first car, Dejon said, was so badly damaged "it was curled back on itself."

It took rescuers up to three hours to free people from the wreckage of the train, which carried around 40 people when it crashed at Hermalle-sous-Huy while traveling between the city of Mouscron and the village of Liers.

Dejon said prosecutors were at the scene and investigating the cause of the accident.

"The SNCB will participate closely in the investigation," Belgium's national railway operator said in a statement. Its services have been seriously affected by a recent wave of strikes, especially in French-speaking parts of the country.

A spokesman for Infrabel, a separate company that oversees Belgium's rail infrastructure, said installations in the area where the wreck occurred "were hit by lightning" earlier on Sunday.

"It's an element we're going to have to look at, but it's premature to see this as the cause of the accident," spokesman Frederic Sacre said. "Prosecutors are at the scene, so we're not able to have access until their work is done."

SNCB's Twitter account on Sunday reported "a signals disruption" on the rail line about an hour and a half before the wreck occurred, but said the problem had been solved and normal train service restored.

The wreck halted rail service between Namur and Liege, two of Belgium's largest cities. Nathalie Pierard, an SNCB spokeswoman, said it could take several days to clear the tracks.

Those injured were taken for treatment to Huy and Liege, and psychological counseling was arranged for those who wanted it.

Family members arriving at the accident scene to search for loved ones were being offered accommodation in a nearby abbey.

  • InternationalMore>>

  • Did Trump and Putin agree to anything? Only they know

    Did Trump and Putin agree to anything? Only they know

    Thursday, July 19 2018 4:35 PM EDT2018-07-19 20:35:23 GMT
    Thursday, July 19 2018 9:01 PM EDT2018-07-20 01:01:11 GMT
    (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais). In this July 16, 2018, photo, U.S. President Donald Trump, left, and Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, shake hands at the beginning of a meeting at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland. Trump and Puti...(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais). In this July 16, 2018, photo, U.S. President Donald Trump, left, and Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, shake hands at the beginning of a meeting at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland. Trump and Puti...
    Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin may have reached several historic agreements at their summit in Finland this week. Or they may not have.More >>
    Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin may have reached several historic agreements at their summit in Finland this week. Or they may not have.More >>
  • Turmoil slows rebuilding of Puerto Rico's power grid

    Turmoil slows rebuilding of Puerto Rico's power grid

    Thursday, July 19 2018 3:00 PM EDT2018-07-19 19:00:02 GMT
    Thursday, July 19 2018 9:00 PM EDT2018-07-20 01:00:54 GMT
    (AP Photo/Carlos Giusti, File). FILE  - In this Sept. 20, 2017 file photo, electricity poles and lines lie toppled on the road after Hurricane Maria hit the eastern region of the island, in Humacao, Puerto Rico. Ten months after Hurricane Maria destroy...(AP Photo/Carlos Giusti, File). FILE - In this Sept. 20, 2017 file photo, electricity poles and lines lie toppled on the road after Hurricane Maria hit the eastern region of the island, in Humacao, Puerto Rico. Ten months after Hurricane Maria destroy...
    Ten months after Hurricane Maria destroyed Puerto Rico's electric grid, the agency responsible for rebuilding it is in chaos and more than $1 billion in federal funds meant to strengthen the system before the next...More >>
    Ten months after Hurricane Maria destroyed Puerto Rico's electric grid, the agency responsible for rebuilding it is in chaos and more than $1 billion in federal funds meant to strengthen the system before the next hurricane is going unspent.More >>
  • After rescue, soccer boys pray for protection at Thai temple

    After rescue, soccer boys pray for protection at Thai temple

    Wednesday, July 18 2018 11:26 PM EDT2018-07-19 03:26:31 GMT
    Thursday, July 19 2018 8:51 PM EDT2018-07-20 00:51:41 GMT
    (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit). Soccer coach Ekkapol Janthawong, second from left, and members of the rescued soccer team attend a Buddhist ceremony that is believed to extend the lives of its attendees as well as ridding them of dangers and misfortunes in M...(AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit). Soccer coach Ekkapol Janthawong, second from left, and members of the rescued soccer team attend a Buddhist ceremony that is believed to extend the lives of its attendees as well as ridding them of dangers and misfortunes in M...
    The Thai soccer boys and their coach have attended a Buddhist ceremony to protect them against misfortunes, a day after they were discharged from a hospital following their rescue from a flooded cave.More >>
    The Thai soccer boys and their coach have attended a Buddhist ceremony to protect them against misfortunes, a day after they were discharged from a hospital following their rescue from a flooded cave.More >>
Powered by Frankly