FIVE children and an adult were killed when a train collided with a school bus at a level crossing in eastern France yesterday, French authorities said.
Four people were seriously hurt and 27 suffered less severe injuries, police said, adding that more than 100 rescue workers went to the scene and a field hospital was set up.
Fifty children from a school in the small town of Margencel, five parents and the driver were on board the bus, which was taking the children on a school trip.
The children were believed to be 12 or 13 years old.
The accident occurred just before 2.00pm (1.00pm Irish time) when a regional train struck the bus at a level crossing at Mesinges, near the town of Allinges in the mountainous Haute Savoie area near the border with Switzerland.
National train operator SNCF and rail network operator RFF said they would launch investigations to determine the causes.
RFF said early indications were that the level crossing, which was not considered high risk, was functioning normally. RFF said it was the most serious accident at a level crossing in about 30 years.
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