Signal-jumping likely cause of Swiss train crash

July 30, 2013 2:03 pm
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Workers on the site of a train accident in Granges-Pres-Marnand, western Switzerland on July 30, 2013, the day after the crash/AFP
Workers on the site of a train accident in Granges-Pres-Marnand, western Switzerland on July 30, 2013, the day after the crash/AFP

, GRANGES-PRES- MARNAND, Switzerland- Swiss investigators Tuesday pointed to signal jumping as the likely cause of a head on train collision in the west of the country that killed a driver and injured 26 other people.

“The investigation focuses on the likelihood that the train travelling from Payerne failed to respect a signal,” Jean Christophe Sauterel, police spokesman for Switzerland’s Vaud region, told reporters.

The crash between two local trains occurred at around 7:00 pm (1700 GMT) Monday just outside the station in Granges pres Mornand, a village between the Geneva and Neuchatel lakes in Switzerland’s French speaking region.

One train had been travelling from the town of Payerne to the lakeside city of Lausanne, 38 kilometres (24 miles) to the south, while the other one, a faster regional service, was travelling north from Lausanne.

The driver of the northbound train, a 24 year old French citizen who lived in the region, was killed in the collision. His body was pulled from the wreckage early Tuesday after a frantic rescue operation.

Daniel Antonez, a resident of nearby Moudon, said he had heard the impact.

“It’s one I often take. I’m sure I know some people who were on the train,” he said.

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