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High-speed train hits concrete blocks on line in south of France

A TGV in front of the main plant of the French engineering giant Alstom in Belfort
A TGV in front of the main plant of the French engineering giant Alstom in Belfort REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen

A TGV high-speed train travelling at top speed hit concrete blocks placed on the line in the south of France on Sunday. Nobody was hurt but passengers were taken to a nearby station after the collision.

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The train, travelling on the line between Aix-en-Provence and Paris, "pulverised" the blocks, even though they were "pretty heavy", according to Carpentras public prosecutor Pierre Gagnoud.

"There are no objective elements that would support a terrorism investigation at the moment," he told the AFP news agency. "But an investigation for wilful misconduct seems obvious."

By the time a railway employee arrived at the scene, two other blocks had been placed on the line, "which proves malicious intent", he said.

Finger prints and DNA traces have been taken, in particular from a bottle of alcohol found at the scene.

An investigation into "dangerous damage and the deliberate endangering of life" has been opened.

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