Share

Falling Boulder Derails Tourist Train in French Alps; 2 Killed

February 8, 2014

PARIS — An enormous boulder smashed into a tourist train in the French Alps Saturday, derailing it and killing two people, officials said. Nine people were injured.

The force of the boulder caved in the side of the train, which takes a leisurely three hours to travel about 93 miles from Nice to Dignes-les-Bains.

"A rock the size of an automobile came off the mountainside and slammed into the first car of the train," Jean Ballester, mayor of nearby Annot, told BFM television. "There are unfortunately two dead."

(MORE: New Atlantic Storm Batters Europe)

The uninjured among the approximately 30 passengers were evacuated to Annot, a little more than half-way through the train route, Ballester said. Two rescue helicopters were dispatched to the remote area, he said.

France's top security official, Manuel Vals, confirmed two dead and nine injured.

The train was still dangling dramatically from the tracks hours after the accident, the crushed front car nose-down in the snowy woods.

The train travels along the mountains on track that regularly receives snow and rock falls, but regional transport official Jean-Yves Petit said even in winter it is considered safe.

"The track isn't unusually dangerous," Petit told BFM.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

View of the derailed train after it was smashed by a boulder, outside the French town of Annot, southeastern France, Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014. (AP photo)

 


Featured Blogs

Germany Breaks its All-Time Heat Record

By Dr. Jeff Masters
July 6, 2015

Germany broke its all-time heat record on Sunday July 5, when the mercury soared to 104.5°F (40.3°C) at Kitzingen in Bavaria. An even higher reading of 105.4°F (40.8°C) was recorded at the University of Karlsruhe, but this is not considered an official station. Numerous cities in Germany set all-time heat records over the weekend, including Saturday's 100.2°F (37.9°C ) reading at Berlin's Dahlem station.

Another Dry California Precipitation Season Draws to a Close

By Christopher C. Burt
June 30, 2015

The 2014-2015 precipitation season ended today (June 30th) and the drought continues unabated. Although the precipitation totals for the July 1-June 30 (2014-2015) period do not appear to be all that bad (generally 60-85% of average) this does not tell the whole story. A very wet December saved what otherwise would have been a catastrophically dry year. In fact, the past six months (since January 1st) have been one of the driest such periods on record for many locations, including San Francisco. Here are some details about the past rainy season and the current drought.

PWS Service Interruption Update

By Shaun Tanner
June 16, 2015

The development team here at Weather Underground has been hard at work producing a new homepage! Please take a look at the sneak peek and tell us what you think!

Meteorological images of the year - 2014

By Stu Ostro
December 30, 2014

My 9th annual edition.

2013-14 - An Interesting Winter From A to Z

By Tom Niziol
May 15, 2014

It was a very interesting winter across a good part of the nation from the Rockies through the Plains to the Northeast. Let's break down the most significant winter storms on a month by month basis.

What the 5th IPCC Assessment Doesn't Include

By Angela Fritz
September 27, 2013

Melting permafrost has the potential to release an additional 1.5 trillion tons of carbon into the atmosphere, and could increase our global average temperature by 1.5°F in addition to our day-to-day human emissions. However, this effect is not included in the IPCC report issued Friday morning, which means the estimates of how Earth's climate will change are likely on the conservative side.