FRANCE: Like the Marne

At 8:14 two nights before Christmas the overcrowded Paris-to-Nancy express stopped on a red signal in a pea-soup fog 15 mi. east of Paris. At 8:15 the Paris-to-Strasbourg express hurtled at 50 m p h into it from behind, knifed the baggage car in two, plowed through four jammed passenger cars.

From the resulting shambles the police ordered rescuers to "take only the ones that are nearly whole." Beside the track they laid out 180 corpses. In an ice-crusted field, by the fog-laden light of fires and lanterns, they laid out nearly...

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