Four dead as train collides with French school bus

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At least four children have died after a train sliced open a school bus in southern France. The bus was carrying students from the Christian Bourquin school in the village of Millas, near Perpignan in southern France.

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, who flew to the scene of the accident Thursday night, said that authorities still don't know what led to the accident on the crossing in Millas, some 15 kilometres (9 miles) west of Perpignan, close to the border with Spain. More than 50 residents were evacuated on Thursday afternoon, along with children at an adjacent daycare centre. Two 11-year-old girls succumbed to their injuries on Friday morning.

Some 30 people were on the regional train at the time.

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Both the bus and the TER are now under forensic investigation by the inquiry. She was slightly injured in the crash. The 24-year-old truck driver was uninjured, but the vehicle driver, who was brought to hospital in critical condition, later succumbed to his injuries. Regional President Carole Delga told broadcaster France-Info that "it appears that there was no mechanical problem at this crossing". "It is an appalling tragedy", she said. SNCF said it had an automatic barrier with standard signals and was not considered particularly unsafe. Stolzke said the idea for the Christmas tree pattern of the flight came from the pilot and engineers on the flight and it was carried out in cooperation with air traffic control.

More than 150 emergency workers and four helicopters were deployed as part of the rescue effort.

The French Transport Minister Elizabeth Borne, who is travelling to the scene, has described the collision as a "terrible accident".

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A statement from the education minister's office said he would visit "to support students, families, teachers and the entire educational community".

French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted: "All my thoughts go to the victims of this awful accident and their families. The government is fully mobilised to give them emergency help".

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