Brétigny: the accident due to a maintenance problem, confirms a new expertise

The disaster rail of Brétigny-sur-Orge, which killed seven people and wounded dozens of others in 2013, was caused by the “age” of the rails, and not by a defect unpredictable steel, according to a new metallurgical expertise. The SNCF had been obtained in 2016 a complementary expertise in order to find a possible “lack of steel” a piece of the referral, that could explain the derailment of the train Paris-Limoges, france on 12 July 2013.

The heart of referral reviewed this “microporosités or porosities formed during the solidification of the room” and that would “be of a nature to promote the kinetics (propagation, ed) cracks and even their training”, according to an excerpt of this expertise is transmitted to the parties, and consulted by AFP, confirming information of the newspaper Le Parisien. But “in the present case,” the expert writes that the cracks observed on the switch that caused the derailment “from a set of disorders on the TJD (the referral note) (missing parts, desserrages, dances, wood…) that demonstrate a certain deterioration of the different elements in the presence”.

The railway company and the SNCF Network are currently under investigation

“It is this set of disorders, which, combined with the requests in service (train passages), has led to the initiation and propagation of cracks”, he adds. “It brings down the thesis of the SNCF,” says Xavier-Philippe Gruwez, a lawyer in several civil parties. “The expertise confirms that it is the outdatedness of the network that is the origin of the accident, not a defect unpredictable of steel”. “The expertise said that the rupture is due to a gradual wearing and old metal, which implies a lack of maintenance extended”, abounds Gerard Chemla, lawyer of the association of victims of Brétigny.

The lawyer for the SNCF, Emmanuel Marsigny, declined to comment for this extract. “It is a page, a few paragraphs, on a report which makes more than 80, and that none of the parties has not yet received,” he said. For the past five years, judicial experts have consistently explained the disaster by a default maintenance, when the SNCF has preferred the scenario of a cracking fast, brutal, and unpredictable.

The railway company and the SNCF Network (ex RFF), the manager of the rail network) are currently under investigation, as legal persons, both for homicides and unintentional injuries. A situation that does not satisfy the victims, who are calling for the questioning of persons. In this folder, three railway workers of the SNCF, in charge of the monitoring of the channel at the time of the derailment, are currently placed under the intermediate status of witness assisted.

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