Page last updated at 15:58 GMT, Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Eurostar halted for second day after Belgium rail crash

Eurostar train
Eurostar services continue to be affected by the crash in Brussels

Eurostar services between the UK and Brussels will remain suspended for a second day following a train crash in Belgium which killed 18 people.

The collision between two commuter trains, which happened on Monday morning, injured almost 150 other people, 55 of them seriously.

Eurostar has cancelled its trains in and out of the Belgian capital and its Lille services have run with delays.

The Thalys services to France, Germany and the Netherlands are also affected.

Eurostar said passengers due to travel from London to Brussels were "strongly advised to postpone or cancel their journeys" on Wednesday and that passengers could exchange their tickets or get a refund.

Eurostar's services to Paris remain unaffected.

Lille services normally run to and from Brussels. Eurostar said a "very limited" capacity shuttle bus had been used to transfer passengers between the two cities. Its website also listed alternative rail routes.

Stop signal

An investigation has been launched into the rush-hour train collision which happened just outside Brussels.

The front carriages smashed into each other and were forced up into the air, damaging overhead power lines.

One train had been going from Leuven to Braine-le-Comte, while the second train had been travelling from Quievrain to Liege.

Rescue workers spent all of Monday searching the wreckage for victims, fearing that the death toll could rise.

Fifty-five commuters were seriously injured while a further 89 people sustained minor injuries.

As of Monday evening, officials said 15 men and three women had been killed.

The cause of the crash is unknown, but the governor of Flemish Brabant province, Lodewijk De Witte, said one of the trains seemed to have missed a stop signal.

The crashed trains may not be completely removed from the tracks for two or three days, the Brussels public prosecutor's office said, according to Associated Press news agency.

Map showing Belgium and train lines affected by crash at Halle

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