Families of Millas school bus victims are fuming at latest decision


Two years after the train tragedy at Millas, where a train crashed into a school bus claiming the lives of six children, there is anger at the announcement of the reopening of the line.

The announcement that crossing 25 has been redeveloped has reopened the raw wounds of the families of the victims, and has unleashed the anger of the Millas 141217 association.

The line has been closed between Perpignan and Villefranche-de-Conflent (PO) since the tragic collision on 14 December, 2017.  Everyone knew that the line would reopen, “but not anytime soon,” said Luc Souque, vice-president of the association, which brings together families of victims.

“For three months, elected officials and the SNCF who meet regularly have suggested that the trains will not recirculate before the end of the school year. We believed them, we reassured our children,” said Luc.  “We found out from the press that the service would be running again on 6 April!”

“an unacceptable reversal of the situation”

Initially, Jean-Luc Gibelin, vice-president of the Occitanie region in charge of transport, confirmed that the link would connect Perpignan to Ille-sur-Têt, the rest of the track having been damaged by bad weather. “The same M. Gibelin who guaranteed us on 28 January that there would be no partial reopening, that it was too complex to implement and that SNCF Réseau and Mobilités would therefore continue to work on the timetables of the trains to avoid the timings of school bus runs,” said Luc Souque, deploring “an unacceptable reversal of the situation.”

He intends to contest the decision during the end of month proposed meeting between the Region, the Department, the town halls of Millas and Saint-Féliu-d’Avall, SNCF, family associations, and the school.

“But we don’t even have a precise date for the meeting,” said the association representative.  “There is no question of letting the 8:21am train circulate at the same time as a bus full of children”, he concluded.

Source: Midi Libre