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February 15, 2010

Belgian collision kills at least 18

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AN investigation is underway in Belgium after a head-on collision between two regional trains that left 18 dead and scores injured. The accident occurred at 08.30 this morning when a Quievrain - Liége train ran into a Leuven - Braine-le-Comte service at Buizingen near the town of Halle, 15km southwest of Brussels.

The two trains were reportedly carrying a total of 250-300 passengers when the incident occurred. Around 150 passengers were treated for minor injuries at a nearby sports centre.

Broadcaster VRT has reported the number of fatalities as 25, although Belgian National Railways (SNCB) has not yet released an official figure. SNCB declined to comment on the accident until the findings of the inquiry are made public.

Thalys services from Brussels to Paris and Eurostar services to London have been suspended. Eurostar says the line is unlikely to reopen before Wednesday.

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