1. #1
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    Unhappy France-Train fire fatal to at least 12

    NANCY, France (AP) - A train heading for Austria caught fire as
    it was leaving a city in eastern France, killing 12 people,
    officials said Wednesday. Nine people were injured.
    The fire broke out as the train was leaving the city of Nancy,
    officials in the Meurthe-et-Moselle region said. The train had been
    heading from Paris to Vienna via Strasbourg, near the border with
    Germany.
    France Info radio reported that the victims were killed in their
    sleep by smoke inhalation. Authorities were initially attributing
    the cause to a heating system malfunction.
    Those killed were six men, five women and one child, authorities
    said. Their nationality was not immediately clear.
    The injured were taken to a university hospital in Nancy.
    Regional official Jean-Francois Cordet said Americans, as well as
    French, British and German nationals, were among those hurt.
    A train conductor alerted authorities at about 2:15 a.m., when
    he noticed smoke pouring from a train wagon, officials said.
    The train was stopped on a track outside the Nancy train station
    and firefighters intervened.
    Fatal train accidents are extremely rare in France, whose
    high-speed rail network is a model for other countries.
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
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    NANCY, France (AP) - A fire broke out in a sleeper car on
    overnight express train Wednesday, filling the car with smoke and
    killing 12 passengers, officials said. Five Americans were among
    the dead, the U.S. Embassy said.
    At least eight others were injured, none seriously.
    The train with 150 passengers was passing through the eastern
    French city of Nancy when the fire broke out three hours after
    departing from Paris on route to the southern Germany city of
    Munich, the French rail authority SNCF said.
    The cause was an electrical short-circuit in the sleeping car
    where the blaze originated, according to regional French
    authorities, who earlier said the train was destined for Austria.
    Most if not all victims - six men, five women and one child -
    died of smoke inhalation, authorities said. Their identities were
    not immediately known, although the German Foreign Ministry in
    Berlin said four of dead appeared to be German.
    Richard Lankford, spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Paris, said
    that five Americans died in the fire, according to information
    received from French authorities. Hours earlier, Lankford had said
    no Americans were believed to be among the dead.
    He declined to give the victims' identities, pending
    notification of next of kin.
    A train conductor first saw smoke at about 2:15 a.m. as the
    train passed the Nancy station. Flames shot up nearly 10 feet into
    the air. The conductor stopped the train about 800 yards past the
    station, and firefighters moved in.
    "Rescuers got to the scene at 2:22 a.m. They discovered the
    first sleeping car charred," Regional official Jean-Francois
    Cordet said. "Inside were 12 dead, nine injured."
    "The catastrophe was amplified by the fact that it was in a
    confined space," chief firefighter Jean-Louis Modere said. "The
    fire was limited, and the amount of smoke very quickly became
    catastrophic."
    The injured - four Germans, three Britons, one American and one
    French national - were taken to a university hospital in Nancy,
    regional authorities said. SNCF said eight people were injured,
    none serious, and did not give a breakdown of nationalities. There
    was no explanation given for the discrepancy
    The charred train car, No. 261, belonged to Germany's national
    railroad, Deutsche Bahn. The car was built in 1964 and underwent
    extensive renovation in 1999 and an overhaul in 2001, according
    Deutsche Bahn spokesman Dieter Huehnerkoch. Deutsche Bahn was
    sending experts and two board members to Nancy to take part in the
    investigation.
    Police investigators were on the scene. A team of psychologists
    was sent in to help survivors cope with the trauma.
    Officials offered passengers shelter in a local gymnasium,
    France Info radio reported.
    French Transportation Minister Gilles de Robien and Louis
    Gallois, president of the French rail authority SNCF, were headed
    to the scene.
    Fatal train accidents are extremely rare in France, whose
    high-speed rail network is considered one of the best in the world
    and a model for other countries.
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

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