Paris Train Derailment Kills 7: What Caused Bretigny-sur-Orges Disaster? [VIDEO]

By Staff Reporter on July 12, 2013 3:18 PM EDT

A Paris train derailment occurred at the Bretigny-sur-Orge station. The injured are receiving medical assistance. Seven people died. (Photo: REUTERS/Kenzo Tribouillard/Poo)

A Paris train derailment occurred at the Brétigny-sur-Orge station on Friday shortly after 5 p.m. local time. More than 350 people were aboard the packed intercity passenger train, local paper Le Parisien reports.

According to a passenger speaking on BFM television of France, the train was travelling at a normal rate of speed and was not intended to slow down when it suddenly derailed and crashed into the station. In fact, some of the passenger cars jackknifed into the station, crushing parts of the metallic roof over the station platform in the process. Authorities say at least seven are believed dead while dozens are injured amid Bastille Day, a major holiday weekend for the French.

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Emergency workers rushed to the scene to aid the victims. While the death toll is believed to be seven so far, authorities expect the number to rise as more are trapped or seriously hurt in the shocking Paris train derailment.

The Paris train derailment at Bretigny-sur-Orges is considered one of the deadliest accidents to have occurred during the major French holiday weekend. Large pieces are sharp metal shards little the platform as debris from the Paris train derailment even clog the stairwells beneath the station platform.

While initial reports reveal seven victims were killed in the disaster, it is unclear whether the victims were passengers on the train or bystanders on the station platform. The speed of the train approaching the Bretigny-sur-Orges is also unknown.

SNCF rail authority director Guillaume Pepy called the Paris train derailment a catastrophe. A precarious crash site, "Some cars simply derailed, others are leaning, others fell over,” Pepy said.

While the cause of the crash is still under investigation, authorities determined that the third and fourth train cars initially derailed, causing a terrifying chain reaction that knocked other passenger cars off the track.

All trains from the Gare d’Austerlitz major Parisian transportation hub were suspended following the Paris train derailment.

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