Latest: Two more children die after train hits school bus in France bringing death toll to six

Update 12pm: Two more children have died from their injuries after a train sliced open a school bus in France, bringing the death toll to six.

Authorities in the Pyrenees-Orientales region announced the new deaths a day after the horrific crash at a crossing close to the Spanish border.

French media said the dead were two 11-year-old girls.

Four other children, aged 12 or 13, died on Thursday in the collision, while 16 others and the bus driver were injured.

Philippe Vignes, the Pyrenees-Orientales chief, told BFM television that several children and the bus driver remained in serious condition today.

AP

Photo: France Bleu Roussillon/Handout via Reuters

Update 10.55am: All four children killed when a train hit a school bus at a crossing in France have been identified and their families informed.

Seven children and the bus driver remain in a serious condition after the crash close to the Spanish border, Philippe Vignes, head of the local authority in Pyrenees-Orientales, told BFM television.

Twelve other people suffered less serious injuries.

The bus was carrying around 20 students aged 11 to 15 from the Christian Bourquin school in the village of Millas, near Perpignan in southern France.

Those killed were all 12 or 13. Investigators said they were working to determine the cause of the crash.

Mr Vignes said he could not say whether the railway barriers meant to stop vehicles from driving onto the tracks when a train is coming were open or closed.

"There are contradictory rumours," he said. "We need to be very careful."

Mr Vignes said overnight that investigators would look into reports that batteries in the automatic gate system had recently been stolen.

SNCF official Gaelle Le Fauche said the train was carrying 25 people, including passengers and crew.

She said all of them had been accounted for and are being offered psychological care.

She added that the train normally travels at 80kph (50mph) at that location.

The Christian Bourquin school opened today to offer psychological help to children and their families.

AP


 

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