SIGNAL failure may be to blame for a collision between a TGV and a regional train near Pau that left at least 40 people injured, according to initial reports.
The signalling system on the line between Pau and Bayonne where a high-speed TGV train was involved in a collision with a regional TER near Denguin, 17km outside Pau yesterday evening, was undergoing maintenance, according to junior transport minister Frederic Culliver.
But he added: "There is nothing to confirm or exclude a link between the maintenance and the crash."
The TGV, which was travelling from Tarbes to Paris, was carrying 178 passengers when it was hit from behind by the regional TER train, with 60 passengers on board, the newspaper Sud Ouest reported.
Three of the 40 injured are reported to be in a “critical condition”.
The high-speed train had just started moving again after a brief halt, the paper said.
Alain Krakovitch, director general of train operator SNCF said that an independent investigation into the cause of the collision would run alongside an SNCF probe.