According to the prosecutor in charge of the investigation into the collision of Millas, the testimonies evoke “overwhelmingly” of “barriers (of the crossing) closed.”
Technical failure or human error? Nothing is decided but the survey rose Friday after the terrible collision between a school bus and a train in Millas (Pyrénées-Orientales), in which at least five children were killed.
Collected testimonies evoke “overwhelmingly” of “barriers (the crossing) closed” , said the prosecutor of Marseilles who took up the investigation via its division specialized in mass accidents. But all the witnesses have not been heard, said Xavier Tarrabeux.
For his part, the employer of the driver of the school bus, Christian Faur, said his employee had “crossed with confidence and with confidence the level crossing , open gates and flashing light off.”
The driver of the TER was questioned, as 13 others. The driver, an employee of forty Faur coaches, was seriously injured and has not been heard.
SNCF said Thursday that “according to witnesses, the crossing operated normally, but it is obvious that this is confirmed by the investigation.” This is a “classic” crossing with automatic signaling and two gates, which “was not considered particularly dangerous,” she said.
A student father, Samuel Conegero, however, said, based on a photo taken by his son, “the barrier (was) fully raised and there (was) no broken barrier.” “There was a raised barrier,” said Robert Taillant also the mayor of Saint-Féliu d’Avall.
On Friday, the tone is escalated between society Faur buses and SNCF. Christian Faur, co-manager of the company, accused the station of “wear allegations” and hoped “that in the end when the truth will be known, SNCF fulfills its responsibilities.”
SNCF has responded very quickly declaring himself “shocked by the particularly serious accusations which have been made against him,” she said made “no tangible evidence” but with “a purely polemical purpose.”
“Turn on the light “
Faced with conflicting information and evidence, investigators remain very cautious. Several investigations are underway: a criminal investigation, another of the SNCF, an administrative investigation was also opened by the Investigation Bureau land transport accidents (BEA-TT).
“It is essential that we can make the light,” said Benjamin GRIVEAUX, spokesman for the government, so that “in the future, on the 15,000 crossings of France, this type of tragic event can not happen again. ”
In the small rural town of Millas, in shock, the college reopened Friday morning. College students were welcomed by a medical and psychological cell. The Minister of Education Jean-Michel Blanquer testified “the support of all of France.”
The prosecutor of Marseille will travel Saturday morning at the scene of the accident, where 100 soldiers are mobilized.
Six children still between life and death
The emotion is huge to days of Christmas. “We are all shocked, they spent all day there, they are children that rubs every day,” said, very moved, Maria Baptist housewife.
All children aged 11 to 17 years, were from the village of Saint-Féliu-d’Avall, a few kilometers from the site of the disaster. At the town hall, where flags were at half-mast, a psychological cell was set up. A worship service was celebrated in the church in memory of the victims.
Dozens of people have also lined up to donate blood. As Delphine Ponthieux “It touches me, I do it for my support to families. We know that it could have been ours, “she said, shedding tears.
President Emmanuel Macron expressed “the solidarity of the nation” with the victims of this disaster, one of the deadliest involving the transportation of children since 1982. The coach carcass was cut in two by the force of the impact.
And the death toll could still rise as the prognosis of 6 wounded, all college students, is still engaged.