2 French football fans killed by train | world | Hindustan Times
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2 French football fans killed by train

world Updated: Mar 08, 2009 20:16 IST

A suburban train struck a group of football fans walking along the tracks in Paris, killing two people including a 10-year-old and injuring 11 others, authorities said. Jean-Pierre Farandou, regional chief of train authority SNCF, said it appeared that the visiting Lille supporters had taken a shortcut back to their bus after Saturday night's match at the Stade de France north of the city. SNCF said the empty train was unable to stop in time.

Guillaume Pepy, head of SNCF, said the accident was "without precedent" and stressed that walking on the tracks is illegal. "Never, never, never, for any reason, are you allowed to walk on tracks," Pepy said, calling it "extraordinarily dangerous." Some 80 rescue workers were called to the scene. Farandou told France-Info radio that a 10-year-old was one of the two dead. The other fatality reportedly was an adolescent.

Rescue officials say the injured were taken to three hospitals and that three people were in serious condition.

It was not immediately clear how the fans gained access to the train tracks. Transport Minister Dominique Bussereau asked a special land transport investigative unit to immediately open an inquiry. In a statement, he asked that experts also examine risks linked to major events near railroad tracks.

Thousands of fans regularly travel to the Stade de France via the suburban train line. More than 78,000 people were in the stadium Saturday night to see Lille beat defending champion Lyon 2-0.