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Train kills boy at same spot where uncle died

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Train kills boy at same spot where uncle died
View of Haut-Intyamon, midway between Bulle and Chateau-d'Oex in the canton of Fribourg. Photo: Commune de Haut-Intyamon
10:39 CEST+02:00
Questions are being raised anew about the safety of a level crossing in a Fribourg village after an eight-year-old boy was killed by a train near the same spot where his uncle died in 2004.

The incident occurred lat 6.15pm on Saturday afternoon in Neirivue in the municipality of Haut-Intyamon when the boy was struck by Transports publics fribourgeois (TPF) passenger train as he was crossing on a scooter, Fribourg cantonal police said.

The boy died on the spot, just metres away from where his uncle, then mayor of the municipality, died with another family member when a train struck the car he was driving in the crossing a little more than eights years ago, 20 Minutes reported.

Both occupants of the car died.

On Saturday, the boy was with his sister at an uncontrolled crossing, where there are signs but no barriers.

The girl was uninjured.

The train was travelling from Bulle toward Montbovon.

“The level crossing for pedestrians was approved in 2007 because it completely met the standards in place despite the absence of automatic barriers,” TPF spokesman Martial Messeiller is quoted as saying by 20 Minutes online.

The experienced train driver had seen the children but there appeared to be no danger.

Travelling at a speed of about 50 kilometres an hour he sounded the warning whistle but the boy entered onto the tracks, Meseiller indicated.

To add to the shock of the tragedy, the victim was the son an employee of the railway, he said.

“This Sunday was declared a day of mourning at TPF,” he told 20 Minutes.

A resident of the village has already launched a petition in favour of an underground passage for pedestrians to replace the crossing, the newspaper reported.

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