Attack on TGV leaves thousands of rail passengers stranded
Two TGV trains transporting 2,300 rail passengers, broke down in the Côte d'Azur region on Saturday night, after their power supply was deactivated. French police suspect the electrical lines were deliberately cut and are treating the incident as a crime. France's state-owned rail company, the SNCF has filed a complaint.
"It is unacceptable that 2,300 passengers remain stranded," said a spokesman for the SNCF on Sunday. "Even if this incident was not the fault of our company, all passengers will be reimbursed 200%."
Passengers travelling between Paris and Nice were stranded in the area of Toulon for almost eight hours on Saturday, after their TGV trains suffered a power failure.
According to initial findings, their electrical lines were shot at by rifle fire, grounding the two trains to a halt.
The SNCF dispatched diesel engines to the breakdown scene and then towed the two trains back to Nice at around 3:00 am on Sunday morning.
"It was a long and difficult night for the passengers," said the rail company, which has decided to renew its national strike for a fifth day.
The strike conditions made it more difficult to get passengers to their destination, although free taxis were made available to them.
Those still wishing to get to Paris, were put on a different train and offered a free meal. They eventually arrived on Sunday morning at 10:30 am.
The ongoing rail strike has forced thousands of commuters to find alternative travel solutions. And many see Saturday's attack as a sign of mounting frustrations.