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At least 6 die in train crash near Paris

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By The Associated Press
Friday, July 12, 2013, 9:21 p.m.

BRETIGNY-SUR-ORGE, France — A train carrying hundreds of passengers derailed and crashed into a station outside Paris on Friday on one of the busiest days of the year for vacation getaways. At least six people were killed and dozens were injured, officials said.

The crash was the deadliest in France in several years. French President Francois Hollande rushed to the scene at the Bretigny-sur-Orge station, 12 miles south of Paris. The Interior Ministry said about 192 people were either injured or being treated for shock. Nine were in critical condition.

Four of the seven train cars slid toward the station, crushing part of the metallic roof over the platform. Images on French television and on Twitter showed gnarled metal and shards on the platform, and debris from the crash clogging the stairwell leading beneath the platform.

Some 300 firefighters, 20 medical teams and eight helicopters were deployed to get survivors out of the metal wreckage, according to the Interior Ministry.

The accident occurred as France is preparing to celebrate its most important national holiday, Bastille Day, on Sunday, and as masses of vacationers are heading out of Paris and other big cities to see family or for summer vacation.

Hollande praised “the mobilization of the emergency services” and reached out in “solidarity with the victims' families.”

He said an inquiry has been started to determine the cause of the crash.

“The inquiries will be public, so that there is absolutely no doubt on what happened,” the president added.

Witnesses reported that the train was not moving at an excessive speed, deepening the mystery of what happened.

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