PARIS: France's interior minister says at least seven people are believed dead and several injured after a packed passenger train derailed outside Paris.

Interior Minister Manuel Valls told reporters that the casualty toll is ''in constant evolution,'' suggesting it could rise.

“The death toll is evolving constantly at this point and unfortunately it will probably rise,” he said. “At this stage there are seven people dead, several dozen wounded and some of them are serious.”

The train -- a regional service that travels more slowly than France's TGV express trains -- veered off the track as it pulled into the station at the town of Bretigny-sur-Oise. It was en route from Paris to the city of Limoges.

Passengers who spoke to French media from the scene said it was travelling unusually fast as it approached the station.

TV images showed one of the carriages smashed against a platform at Bretigny-sur-Orge station, 26 km (16 miles) south of Paris. Trapped passengers were still being helped to safety.

“Most of the people who suffered minor injuries have been taken care of. We are going to have to empty the carriages completely to see if there are victims or not,” said local lawmaker Michel Pouzol.

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