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At least 25 killed in Belgium train collision -

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At least 25 killed in Belgium train collision

Broadcast: 15/02/2010

Reporter: Philip Williams

At least 25 people have been killed in a collision between two trains outside Brussels in Belgium.

Transcript

LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: In breaking news, at least 20 people have been killed in a head-on
collision between two trains just outside Brussels in Belgium.

For the latest on the disaster I'm joined now from our London bureau by Europe correspondent Philip
Williams.

Phil, do we know exactly what happened?

PHILIP WILLIAMS, EUROPEAN CORRESPONDENT: Not really, but the first reports indicate that there were
two trains on the same track at a town called Halle, just south-west of the capital, about 15
kilometres south-west, that one train was pulling out of the station.

As it was pulling out, another was barrelling in, and they have collided. And as you can see from
the graphic pictures, those two trains met and climbed over each other.

The impact is obviously very, very severe. The death toll we're told now is possibly 25 and
climbing. And we still don't know exactly how many are injured. It'll be some time because of the
severity of that particular impact as to when we know exactly how many people have been killed and
injured.

LEIGH SALES: Horrible pictures, Phil. If these were packed carriages, you'd have to imagine that
the death toll is going to climb even further.

PHILIP WILLIAMS: Absolutely, and it was peak hour traffic, these trains were packed, and we've
heard some eyewitnesses from people that were on those trains saying that the impact crushed
everyone together.

One man said that the - as the train was leaving the station, it was lucky that it was actually
only travelling at a relatively slow pace, 'cause it was just pulling out of the station, but the
other train coming the other way was clearly doing quite a speed, you can tell by the impact.

And it's hard to imagine that there won't be many, many more injuries and deaths. This is a very
serious crash. There hasn't been such a serious crash in Belgian since 2001.

How this came to be, how the same trains came to be on the same track will no doubt be subject to
great investigation, but at this stage we simply don't know what went wrong.

It was snowing, but not snowing heavily. Whether that had some impact on the points, on the
signalling, whether there's a signalling failure or a train driver simply ignored or didn't notice
a signal, we just don't know yet.

But we do know that it's going to be a very, very serious outcome, because already, as I say, 25
dead we think and an unknown number of injured, but that will certainly be in double figures.

LEIGH SALES: OK. Phil Williams, we'll obviously learn more on this tomorrow. Thankyou very much.