At least seven people were killed and dozens more injured today when a packed passenger train carrying nearly 400 people derailed and careened into a station outside Paris, authorities said.
Officials did not say whether the deaths were among those only aboard the train or on the platform at Bretigny-sur-Orge station. Images of the scene show the train nearly severed in half, the station's metal roof caved in, and gnarled metal and debris strewn across the site.
It is unclear how many people, if any, remain trapped inside the train, according to authorities.
Guillaume Pepy, head of the SNCF rail authority, called the crash, the deadliest in France in recent memory, a "catastrophe."
"Some cars simply derailed, others are leaning, others fell over," Pepy said, according to The Associated Press.
The cause of the crash is undetermined, he said.
The train was carrying about 385 passengers when it derailed Friday evening just after 5 p.m. local time, about 12 miles outside Paris. The accident comes on the eve of a national holiday, Bastille Day.