Train collision kills 20

HALLE, Belgium - Two commuter trains crashed head-on near Brussels yesterday morning and it is feared that at least 20 people are dead.

HALLE, Belgium - Two commuter trains crashed head-on near Brussels yesterday morning and it is feared that at least 20 people are dead.

The trains collided during rush hour in snowy conditions near Halle, 15km southwest of the Belgian capital.

Belgian public broadcaster VRT quoted the mayor of Halle as saying that at least 20 people had been killed.

Local officials and the train operator SNCB were unable to confirm a figure.

"There are certainly deaths, but it's very difficult to give a precise number at this point," a SNCB spokesperson said.

"There are people trapped inside (the trains)."

The trains were crushed against each other, their fronts suspended in the air.

"The first two carriages were completely squashed," said 37-year-old Hambaoui Mounir.

"I was in the carriage right behind. The train fell to one side, people fell over each other, there was no air and women and children were screaming."

Train services, including the high-speed line between Brussels and Paris, have been suspended for the day.

Eurostar said its services to Britain were also not running. - Reuters

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