A huge falling rock derailed a train in the French Alps on Saturday, killing two people and partly pushing one of its carriages over the edge of a mountain slope.
Nine people were injured, one seriously, in the accident which occurred on Saturday morning on a train line popular with tourists between the villages of Saint-Benoit and Annot in southeastern France.
Deputy prefect for the region Charbel Aboud said the two dead were a French woman from the region and a Russian woman who was travelling with her husband.
"An enormous rock broke off from the mountain and hit the side of the train with extreme force," he said, adding it may have weighed as much as 20 tonnes.
Officials said it was the first such accident known on the line and it was unclear why such a large rock fell.
Southeastern France has experienced extremely wet weather in the past month, leading to flooding in the coastal Var region and mirroring floods in the northwest, Reuters reports.
Netting is used along the line to prevent rockfalls, local officials said.
AFP reportes the railway, known as the Train des Pignes (Pine Cone Train), is hugely popular among tourists, taking them on a picturesque 151-kilometre journey from the sea to the mountains of Haute-Provence.