A fatal collision between a train and school bus occurred at the railway crossing of Peripigan and Villenfranche-de-Conflent in southern France, killing at least four children, announced Interior Minister Gerard Collomb.
There were 24 other passengers reported to have been seriously injured. Casualties were rushed to a hospital in Perpignan. Meanwhile, 70 emergency workers and four helicopters appeared at the scene to rescue victims.
Reports indicate that the students onboard the school bus, which is not the yellow American variety, were between the ages of 13 and 17.
Officials detailed that the bus was on route to return students home when the train collided with it at about 50 mph. The crash force ripped the bus into two.
Carole Delga, president of the Occitanie regional council, said the level crossing was in very good condition and had been recently upgraded. Weather conditions were also reported good during the time of the crash. Details remain unclear to what actually contributed to the school bus colliding with the train.
Barbara, a witness aboard the train, described “it was a very violent crash.”
French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted: “All my thoughts for the victims of the terrible accidents involving a school bus, as well as their families. The state is fully mobilised to help them.”