The famous little Train des Pignes train that links Nice to the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence département in France was hit by a massive rock this Saturday morning and derailed between Annot and Saint-Benoît, in south-eastern France.
The accident was as unlikely as it was tragic, with two people killed and one crtitically wounded. By all visual accounts, a large rock weighting around twenty tons slid down the mountain and hit the front of the slow-moving train, propulsing it off its tracks.
The weather and alternating periods of snow, frost and defrost could be partly to blame for the rock sliding off the mountain side. Investigations now under way should provide further information.
The Train des Pignes links the town of Nice to the picturesque town of Digne-les-Bains, runnnig over 150 kilometers, crossing gorges, valleys, tunnels and viaducs on what is ordinalily a beautiful track.
For more information on the Train des Pignes, consult the Train Provence Web Site.