Belgian train crash kills 18 commuters

TRAINS between London and Brussels will remain suspended today, Eurostar said yesterday as an inquiry into a crash that killed at least 18 got underway.

Some estimates have put the death toll from the head-on smash – which occurred ten miles south of the Belgian capital during morning rush-hour – at 25, with more than 100 people injured. As of yesterday evening, the official count of those that had lost their lives was put at 18.

But efforts to disentangle the two trains are ongoing and there are fears more bodies will be found in the wreckage. The collision occurred in icy conditions after a night of light snow fall but the investigation is focused on human error – with the governor of the region, Lodewijk De Witte, suggesting one train had missed a red signal. But the Belgian track operator said officials were keeping an open mind about why two commuter trains on regular runs could have been travelling in opposite directions on the same track.

The force of the impact sent the lead carriages of each train rearing up into the sky, bringing down power lines and de-railing a third train. The dead were mostly in the lead carriages of the two trains. Workman using cutting gear spent hours freeing the injured.