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Track fault possible cause of France train derailment

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A loose steel plate at a junction may have been the cause of the train derailment that killed six people and injured dozens at the Bretigny-sur-Orge station in France on Friday, according to train operator SNCF. SNCF head of infrastructure, Pierre Izard, said "The steel plate, which should have remained bolted onto the track, moved to 'the middle of the track junction', preventing the rolling stock from passing through," according to a Reuters report.

According to Reuters, "traffic remained disrupted on Saturday on the central train line linking Paris to Orleans, Limoges and Toulouse, SNCF said.

"The Paris-Limoges train, on a regional service that travels more slowly than France's TGV express trains, derailed at the station of Bretigny-sur-Orge, 26 km (16 miles) south of the capital. It was carrying about 385 people, SNCF said.

"Workers spent the night cutting through tangled metal, but found no more victims. A crane was brought in to lift a carriage that fell onto its side and others torn open in the accident.

"Transport Minister Frederic Cuvillier told France Info the accident could have been worse if the driver had not reacted quickly to avoid hitting another train 200 metres (yards) away."