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Train Fire Kills 12 in France - 2002-11-06

At least 12 people have died in a fire on board a train in eastern France. The train was en route from Paris to Vienna via Strasbourg. The cause is thought to be a faulty heating system. The fire began in the middle of the night in the first sleeping car near the front of the train and was not immediately discovered.

An officer of the National Police said employees of the rail system saw the car on fire as it passed through the station in Nancy, 250 kilometers east of Paris, and stopped the train as quickly as they could.

The victims died of smoke inhalation before rescue workers could get to them. The dead are reported to include French, British, German and American citizens.

The location of the fire, at the end of one carriage, suggested to officials that it had been caused by a problem with the heating system.

There were 150 passengers on board the express train, which makes an overnight trip from Paris to the Austrian capital, Vienna.