French rail firm SNCF ‘charged in youths’ death’

Two young football fans were killed and nearly a dozen injured in 2009 when they were struck by state-owned train after a football match. Rail operator SNCF will now faces criminal charges over the accident, sources have claimed.

French rail firm SNCF 'charged in youths' death'
France's state-owned rail company faces criminal charges over a deadly collision with a group of football fans. Photo: Bertrand Langlois/AFP

France's state-owned rail company is facing trial over a 2009 accident in which two young football fans were killed by a commuter train near the Stade de France stadium north of Paris, sources said on Tuesday.

The SNCF is charged with involuntary manslaughter and causing injuries in the March 7, 2009 tragedy, a judicial source and the family of one of the victims said.

Eleven others were injured when a train, which was not carrying passengers, slammed into a group of football fans who were walking on unlit train tracks to take a shortcut to their bus taking them home to the northern French city of Lille.

The accident occurred after a match between French teams Lille and Lyon. The dead included an 10-year-old boy and a teen aged 18.

According to investigators, a door leading to stairs that was not meant for public use was left open, allowing the group to enter the off-limits zone, protected by gates and barriers, to take a shortcut to the bus.

Christian Duminy, the grandfather of Jordan, the 10-year-old who was killed in the accident, said the victim's parents wanted a trial and "the guilty to be punished to end their mourning".

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