Two dead as tourist train derailed by landslide in French Alps

Two people have been killed and several other others injured after a tourist train was derailed by a landslide in the French Alps.

The train, which was travelling from the Riviera city of Nice to town of Digne-les-Bains, was left dangling from the mountainside with people still trapped inside it after being hit by a huge falling rock.

According to The Sun, eyewitness Quentin Bonnard said: "One of the carriages is still on the track - the second is still on the slope.

"There are firefighters everywhere. It is very dramatic."

The Daily Mail reports that Mr Bonnard saw a passenger hurtling out of the train on impact. He added: "There was a landslide, leaving the rail covered in rocks. There are victims still in the wreckage."

Two helicopters have been scrambled to evacuate passengers, although the French Interior Minister said treacherous weather was making the rescue operation difficult.

The accident happened at 10am on Saturday between Annot and the St Benedit Alpes-de-Haute-Provence region of southern France, a very popular area with British holidaymakers, particularly in the ski season.

French reporter Gregory Leclerc, working with Nice Matin, was on the scene and posted pictures to his Twitter page.

One of the injured is said to be in a critical condition, while the others, including the driver, are reported to have sustained less serious injuries.

Local prosecutor Stephane Kellenberger told AFP news agency that one of the dead was a Russian woman, while the other victim came from the Alps region, although some reports have suggested the victims were a Russian woman and a British tourist.

Jean Ballester, mayor of nearby Annot, told the BBC: "A rock the size of a car came off the mountainside and slammed into the first car of the train."

There were a total of 34 people on board at the time of the accident, AFP news agency reports.

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