Brétigny-sur-Orge train crash

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Brétigny-sur-Orge train crash
The derailed 4th carriage of the train that crashed at the Brétigny station
The derailed 4th carriage of the train that crashed at the Brétigny station
Date 12 July 2013 (2013-07-12)
Time 17:11 CEST (UTC+02:00)
Location Brétigny-sur-Orge, Île-de-France
Coordinates 48°36′26″N 2°18′08″E / 48.607316°N 2.302274°E / 48.607316; 2.302274Coordinates: 48°36′26″N 2°18′08″E / 48.607316°N 2.302274°E / 48.607316; 2.302274
Country France
Operator SNCF
Type of incident Derailment
Cause Track defect
Trains 1
Passengers 385
Deaths 7
Injuries 192

On 12 July 2013, a train crash occurred in the commune of Brétigny-sur-Orge in the southern suburbs of Paris, France, when a passenger train carrying 385 people derailed and hit the station platform. Seven people were killed and nearly 200 were injured.[1]

The accident was cited as the most serious rail crash in France since the 1988 Gare de Lyon accident in which 56 people were killed.[2][3]


At 17:11 CEST (15:11 UTC) on 12 July 2013,[4] SNCF Corail Intercités train 3657 from Paris Gare d'Austerlitz to Limoges derailed and crashed at Brétigny station, resulting in the deaths of seven people (three passengers on the train and four on the platform) and injuries to "dozens" more. 385 passengers were on board,[5][6] which occurred a few minutes after the train departed Austerlitz at 16:53.[7] It was scheduled to arrive at Limoges-Bénédictins at 20:05. The trains and platforms at Brétigny were particularly busy as it was the Friday before the Bastille Day holiday weekend.[5]

Reports indicate the train, which was not scheduled to stop, crashed at 137 kilometres per hour (85 mph) (under the limit speed of 150 km/h) and split in two between the fourth and fifth carriages after they derailed on a double slip.[6] The rear of the train was deviated to the left from the track 1 to the track 3 by the following railroad switch. The sixth carriage moved crosswise between the two tracks and swept the intermediate platform being pierced by a beam of the shelter. The fifth carriage first collide the platform on its left then lay down along the opposite platform.

Accident bretigny croquis.png


The railway workers immediately took action, preventing, by a few seconds, a collision between the derailed carriages and a train approaching in the opposite direction.[8]

According to a police report, some incidents of theft from passengers and throwing of projectiles at rescue workers occurred shortly after the accident.[9][10] Ministers of transport Frédéric Cuvillier and interior minister Manuel Valls described the incidents as "isolated acts" and said the throwing of missiles ceased when the police arrived.[11]


The SNCF, French Land Transport Accident Investigation Bureau (BEA-TT), and judicial authorities have started three separate investigations into the accident.[12]

The SNCF released its initial findings on 13 July 2013, reporting that the derailment appeared to have been caused by a track failure. A steel fishplate connecting two rails came loose 200 metres (660 ft) from the station at a set of points, and became stuck in them. The last axle of the third carriage is supposed to be the first axle to have collided with the fishplate.[13]


The 4 bolt fishplate involved in the derailment linked the lower right switch point (here open) to the frog (the crossing zone). The inner plate swung around the last bolt and blocked the right frog of the double slip.

Three investigations were initiated, by the public prosecutor of Évry, the Land Transport Accident Investigation Bureau (BEA-TT) of the Ministry of Transport, and the SNCF. The train is believed to have derailed on the approach to Brétigny when passing over a switch 200 metres (660 ft) before the station. The French transport minister Frédéric Cuvillier stated that the accident was not due to human error and ruled out [clarification needed] any responsibility on the part of the driver.

At a press conference the day after the accident, a director of SNCF explained that the failure of a fishplate (rail joint) was the cause of the accident, confirmed in the third press SNCF conference by supporting photographs. According to Guillaume Pepy, the SNCF president, the fishplate broke away from the rails and became lodged in the middle of the switch, causing the derailment.

He said the SNCF considers itself responsible for the lives of its passengers and announced a campaign to check all similar equipment, nearly 5,000 units throughout the network, whose maintenance is under the SNCF's remit. [clarification needed]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Operations begin to clear wreckage of derailed train near Paris". France 24. 14 July 2013. Retrieved 14 July 2013. 
  2. ^ "Un train déraille à Brétigny : au moins 6 morts, Hollande se rend sur place" (in French). TF1. 12 July 2013. Retrieved 12 July 2013. 
  3. ^ "Accident de train à Brétigny-sur-Orge : des précédents dramatiques" (in French). Microsoft. 
  4. ^ "Brétigny : la SNCF s'est trompée sur l'heure du déraillement du train". Le Figaro. 24 July 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "Deadly French train crash at Bretigny-sur-Orge". BBC News. 12 July 2013. 
  6. ^ a b "Packed train derails near Paris, 7 believed dead". AP via the Big Story. 12 July 2013. 
  7. ^ "Six morts dans le déraillement d'un train dans l'Essonne". Libération (in French). 12 July 2013. Retrieved 12 July 2013. 
  8. ^ a b Déraillement mortel de train : une collision évitée”, Libération.
  9. ^ Kovacs, Stéphane; Sallé, Caroline (19 July 2013). "Brétigny-sur-Orge : "T'as trouvé quoi dans les bagages ?"" [Brétigny-sur-Orge: "What did you find in the baggage?"]. Le Figaro (in French). 
  10. ^ Borredon, Laurent; Hopquin, Benoît (19 July 2013). "Brétigny : les autorités accusées de minimiser les incidents après l'accident" [Brétigny: The authorities are accused of downplaying incidents after the accident]. Le Monde (in French). 
  11. ^ "Brétigny. Un rapport de police confirme les vols et les caillassages après l’accident de train" [Brétigny. A police report confirms thefts and throwing of projectiles after train accident]. La Dépêche (in French). 19 July 2013. 
  12. ^ "Loose rail connector 'may have caused' France crash". BBC News. 13 July 2013. 
  13. ^