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French TGV train travels 40km with cyclist's body embedded in front of cab

Grisly discovery only made when train arrived at Mulhouse station - remains of bike discovered at level crossing 40km away

A high-speed TGV train in France yesterday travelled 40 kilometres with the body of a cyclist embedded in the front of the cab – the grisly discovery only made by railway staff and passengers when it stopped at Mulhouse, close to the Swiss border.

According to a spokesman for French state railway SNCF, the train driver would not have been able to see the body nor the serious damage that the front right-hand side of the train sustained, reports Le Parisien. The spokesman added that incidents of this type are "relatively rare."

Remains of the unnamed 48-year-old man’s bicycle were discovered at a level crossing at Petit-Croix in the province of Belfort in the Franche-Comté region. Police are unable to confirm whether they believe the death to have resulted from an accident or suicide.

But according to the website Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace, whose article is accompanied by a picture of the damaged train, the saddle of the bike was found with the body, which it says suggests he was riding across the level crossing when the train arrived.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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