The tragedy occurred around 8:30 p.m., the fire and rescue service said. “The two victims were dead when help arrived,” said the firefighters.
The accident occurred “on the edge of the forest”, Jean-Marc Dierse, the mayor of Bernolsheim, told AFP. “It’s a place where there is no barrier, but there is no road, you really have to want to go there”, he added, suggesting that the hypothesis of a suicide could be considered.
The favored suicide hypothesis
According to the Strasbourg prosecutor’s office, it is indeed this track that seems to emerge: it is probably a man and his mother, identified thanks to a “chipped cat” found near the scene of the tragedy.
Initially, the firefighters had indicated that the victims were “a man in his forties” and a “person whose age and sex” could not be “defined”. According to the regional daily The Latest News from Alsace, the two victims are a 50-year-old man and his 83-year-old mother, living together in Strasbourg.
Two letters were found at their home, in which they set out their desire to end it, the mother explaining in particular that she was “sick”, according to the prosecution. A DNA expertise was however carried out in order to formally confirm their identity, it was specified.
None of the 118 passengers was injured, according to the SNCF, which specifies that they were taken care of in coaches.
A police investigation has been opened.