At least 35 hurt as two Swiss trains collide

At least 35 people have been injured, five seriously, in a head-on collision between two regional trains in western Switzerland.

Police said last night that one person had yet to be recovered from the wreckage.

The crash happened near the station of Granges-pres-Marnand shortly before 7pm on a regional line about 50km southwest of the capital, Bern.

It came just days after 79 people were killed in a high-speed train derailment in Spain.

Photographs from the Swiss site showed the two trains locked together, partly lifted off the tracks by the force of the collision.

Several ambulances, fire engines, and a helicopter were involved in the rescue operation.

Rescuers had not yet been able to reach the driver’s cabin of one of the trains, said the police in the canton (state) of Vaud.

News website 20min.ch quoted Patricia Claivaz of the Swiss rail company CFF as saying the trapped man was the driver. It was unclear if he was alive.

According to police, the five people who were seriously injured were taken to hospital in the nearby city of Lausanne.

Earlier, Swiss media had cited police as saying 44 were injured, four of them seriously.

It was not immediately clear last night why the injury figure had been lowered.

Switzerland’s rail system is considered among the best and safest in the world. Accidents are rare, though three years ago the country’s popular Glacier Express tourist train derailed in the Alps, killing one person and injuring 42.

Police spokesman Jean-Christophe Sauterel said: “These are regional trains. The speeds are a little lower and even if one deeply regrets the likely loss of life of one person as well as five serious injuries, the situation could have been much more catastrophic.”

Sauterel said it was too early to try to ascertain the cause of the crash.


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