A high-speed train undergoing a trial derailed on the new Paris-Strasbourg high-speed line on Saturday in Eckwersheim, near the German border, local police and the national railway company said, killing seven people and gravely wounding 11 more.
Pictures from a Reuters photographer at the scene showed the locomotive partly submerged in a canal alongside the tracks with other parts lying broken and detached in a field beside the track. Medical units including police divers were on the scene.
The second section of the Paris-Strasbourg high-speed TGV line on which the crash happened is set to open for service in April 2016.
Viviane Chevallier, spokeswoman for the Bas-Rhin region, said there were no immediate indications that Saturday’s crash had anything to do with deadly terrorist attacks in Paris a day earlier.
She said authorities believe the TGV high-speed train carrying 49 people was going too fast, and skipped off the tracks in the town of Eckwerscheim near the German border.
However, police said the cause of the crash had yet not been determined. A source close to the investigation said dozens of technicians were aboard.
Rescue teams – including divers – are working at the scene.