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Page last updated at 15:37 GMT, Monday, 2 June 2008 16:37 UK

French train crash kills children

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A train has struck a school bus in the French Alps close to the Swiss border, killing at least six children and an adult, French police say.

The accident occurred at a level crossing near the town of Allinges in France's Haute-Savoie region.

At least 25 people were also injured in the crash at about 1400 (1200 GMT), France's rail operator SNCF said.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has sent condolences to the victims. An investigation is under way.

"All of us are thinking of the children, the adults, the victims," Mr Sarkozy said. "We can only hope there will be as few victims as possible."

Serious injuries

The train was travelling between the towns of Evian and Thonon-les-Bains when it struck the bus.

Footage of the aftermath of the crash

The bus had been carrying 50 children and six adults between the towns of Margencel and Yvoire.

A regional official told Agence France-Presse news agency that three of the wounded on the bus were seriously hurt.

An SNCF official said some of the train passengers were slightly hurt.

SNCF said initial investigations showed that the level crossing where the accident occurred was working normally.

Interior Minister Michele Alliot-Marie and the Secretary of State for Transport Dominique Bussereau were attending the scene of the accident.


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