LONDON (Reuters) – A Cuba tour van broke down on the streets of Paris on Friday after an overnight collision, prompting a massive police operation to bring the driver to the site.
“Police are working on a rescue operation but unfortunately it is very early,” police spokesman Eric Pérez said.
“The vehicle broke down, we’re going to have to get there now.”
The van was carrying five Frenchmen and a woman who were staying at a hotel in the French capital when it struck a light rail on the outskirts of the city, injuring at least five people, including two police officers.
“We don’t know the exact number of injured people but it’s not insignificant,” Pérerez said, adding that the van had been “trapped” for some time and it was “still under repair”.
The five people injured in the accident were evacuated to hospitals in central Paris and are now in stable condition, the Paris prosecutor’s office said in a statement.
Police had to enter a building at the site where the crash occurred to get the driver and the other occupants out, the statement said.
A spokeswoman for the driver’s company, the French tour operator, said they had been travelling from Spain to the Spanish capital, Barcelona.
The accident comes amid a record number of vehicle crashes in France, which has been on edge since a string of deadly attacks last year, including the attacks on Paris and a nightclub in the city’s eastern suburbs.
France has had a tough year with two car crashes, two truck attacks and two suicide bombings, and the country has had to deal with an explosion at a gas plant in the southern city of Marseille in March, killing 36 people.