More than 400 victims, 3 courtrooms: the extraordinary trial of the SNCF opens in Evry

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Derailment of a train in Brétigny-sur-Orgecase

The public carrier is on trial for the derailment of the Paris-Limoges train which killed seven people and injured more than 400 in 2013. Nearly 200 victims have filed civil actions in the hope of understanding the origins of the accident.

Mass trials are increasingly resembling international conventions. Routes marked and delimited by cords. Obligatory badge according to the quality of participants: lawyer, civil party, experts, journalists and a president of the correctional court obliged to juggle, somehow, with technology: “You are in the broadcast room, please come forward to the main room.” The fluidity of the transmissions is not always appropriate during this first day of hearing when the judge takes this unusual speech for a court where generally any shooting is prohibited: “I turn off the image, can you hear me?”

The trial of the SNCF, which is appearing for involuntary injuries and manslaughter in the context of the accident in Brétigny-sur-Orge on July 13, 2013 is precisely out of the ordinary. It takes place in three different rooms, required the reorganization of an entire court and an expense of 800,000 euros would like to remind the president from the start of the proceedings. On the bench of the defendants: two companies. SNCF, which runs the trains, and Réseau Ferré de France (RFF), which has since become SNCF Réseau, owner and manager of the 30,000 km of railways in France. Only one physical person is present: a so-called “local” manager responsible for checking the faulty switch. He faces a three-year prison sentence and a fine of 45,000 euros. The two undertook…

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