Device in French nuclear train crash tied to fatal derailment same day

July 19, 2013 at 1:22 PM
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PARIS, July 19 (UPI) -- French police are investigating what rail officials said was an apparent act of sabotage that resulted in the derailment of a train carrying nuclear waste.

Officials with the state-owned rail company SNCF said a loose part believed to have led to the July 12 derailment of the train hauling nuclear waste is the same type of device linked to a fatal crash of another train the same day, Radio France International reported Friday.

The nuclear waste train was traveling on track used exclusively by nuclear energy company Areva when it derailed near Bessines-sur-Gartempe, in central France. No nuclear waste was reported released and two railway workers on the train were not hurt.

SNCF officials said a fishplate, a piece of metal that connects two sections of rail, had been removed and a rail disconnected.

A previously unknown anti-nuclear group has claimed responsibility for the incident.

A loose fishplate has also been blamed for another derailment the same day in Bretigny-sur-Orge. Six people died in the crash.

Investigators said they have not found any evidence of sabotage in that crash.

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