France Millas train crash: Children killed as bus cut in two

Three dead after school bus hit by train at rail crossing in France

The bus was transporting students between a school in Millas and the communities of Saint-Feliu-D'Amont and Saint-Feliu-d'Avall.

A witness who was on the train, named as Barbara, said "it was a very violent crash - it seemed as if the train would derail".

Rescue workers are seen on the site of collision between train and school bus in Millas, near Perpignan, southern France December 14, 2017 in this handout picture.

Nine other people on the bus had less severe injuries.

The Pyrenees-Orientales authority tweeted that the collision occurred at a railway crossing on Thursday afternoon.

A spokeswoman added that the train normally travels at 80kph (50mph) at that location.

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Rail operator SNCF has modernised level crossings across France in recent years, following numerous accidents, the BBC's Chris Bockman reports from Toulouse.

"Emergency services have been mobilized and a crisis co-coordination unit [has been] set up", a local official told Reuters.

Deaths from the crash rose from four to six overnight, with eight including the driver left seriously injured as of Friday morning.

French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted: "All my thoughts go to the victims of this bad accident and their families".

Counsellors are also setting up at a local sports hall. "The government is fully mobilised to give them emergency help".

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