At least one person dead and around 20 injured after train derails near Brussels

Crash happened at 1:20pm outside Leuven station en route to the Belgian capital

Caroline Mortimer@cjmortimer
Saturday 18 February 2017 14:58
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One dead after train derailment in Brussels

At least one person is dead and many more are injured after a train carriage jumped the tracks and flipped onto its side outside a station near Brussels.

Rail operator SNCB said the passenger train bound for Brussels crashed after leaving the city of Leuven, 25 km (16 miles) east of the capital at about 1:20 pm (12:20pm GMT).

Pictures posted on the internet showed one carriage had come to rest on its side part way down a small slope.

Services between Leuven and Brussels were suspended, including some trains heading to the airport.

The carriage had around 50 onboard at the time of the crash and 27 people have been injured, two seriously.

14 people have been taken to hospital and Leuven Police said all the other passengers have been temporarily taken to the police headquarters for their own safety.

In a statement the mayor of Leuven, Louis Tobback, confirmed one person had died but said the victim had not been in the carriage when they were killed. The cause of the death is currently unknown.

One witness on the train, Frederik Vranken, tweeted an image of emergency services at the scene with the small carriage on its side, next to the railway line.

Prime Minister Charles Michel visited the scene.

He was one of several Belgian politicians who tweeted their condolences to the family of the victim.

He said: "Condolences to the victims and family members of the train accident in Leuven.

"Thanks to the the emergency services for rapid intervention".

Similarly the Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Jan Jambon tweeted that his thoughts were with the victims.

Authorities launched an investigation into the cause of the derailing, which was not immediately known.

Additional reporting by agencies

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