Twelve confirmed dead in Belgian train collision - local governor

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Twelve people were confirmed dead following Monday's collision of two passenger trains near the Belgian capital, Brussels, the German DPA news agency said.

Twelve people were confirmed dead following Monday's collision of two passenger trains near the Belgian capital, Brussels, the German DPA news agency said.

The trains collided head-on at 07.30 GMT in the town of Halle, to the southwest of the Belgian capital, amid snowy conditions. A third train was reportedly derailed as a result of the crash.

Earlier, a railway spokesman said at least 20 people had died and some three dozen were injured in the accident.

"Twelve people have definitely died but the death toll is certain to go up," Lodewijk De Witte, the provincial governor of the Flemish Brabant, the region in which Halle lies, was quoted by the news agency as saying.

He added more bodies are still trapped in at least one carriage.

Eleven people, including one child, were seriously injured, the governor said.

"The cars have overturned, many people are in shock," a witness to the accident said.

According to the news agency, the two trains were carrying some 150 people, and about 100 of them reportedly escaped unscathed.

DPA quoted De Witte as saying the accident had probably been caused by one of the trains running a red light.

Rescuers and medics are working at the site.

The accident caused widespread halts of international trains between London and Paris to Brussels.

Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme was expected to break his visit to Kosovo and arrive at the site on Monday, as well as King Albert II of Belgium.

MOSCOW, February 15 (RIA Novosti)

 

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