TRANSPORT BRIEFS

TRANSPORT BRIEFS

AT LEAST 4 KILLED

IN FRENCH TRAIN WRECK

PARIS - At least four people were killed and 36 others injured Wednesday morning when a passenger train jumped its tracks and crashed into a waiting train in a small town about 50 miles north of Paris.

Officials said the toll could rise as rescue workers picked through the wreckage. The dead included the driver of the moving train. No one on the second train appeared to have been injured, officials said.

The accident apparently was caused by a large piece of metal weighing 21 pounds that had been left on the tracks, said Bruno Beaufils-Ducrot, regional director of SNCF, the state railway system. The metal might have been left behind after routine maintenance, he said.

But other SNCF officials suggested it could have been placed there deliberately. They said another train had passed the same point a half-hour earlier without incident.

HALF-YEAR PROFIT DIVED

AT MALAYSIAN AIRLINE

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - Malaysia Airline System recorded an unaudited pretax profit of 6.34 million ringgit ($2.5 million) in the six months ended Sept. 30, down from 153.46 million ringgit a year earlier, the Bernama news agency reported.

The 95.9 percent plunge came despite a 4.4 percent rise in revenue to 2.015 billion ringgit.

MAS said its international activities were pressured by intense price competition due to overcapacity in the world airline industry.

Meanwhile, the airline's domestic activities continue to be dogged by slowing air traffic within Malaysia.

USX, LTV SETTLE

RAIL ANTITRUST CASE

PITTSBURGH - USX Corp. said it will settle railroad antitrust claims with LTV Steel Corp. by paying $375 million by the end of February.

Directors of both companies have approved the settlement, USX said, but the specific terms and conditions of the agreement in principle are still being finalized.

The case involved allegations of antitrust violations by railroads that were accused of monopolizing the dock handling and inland shipment of iron ore

from Lake Erie ports to steel mills. The alleged violations occurred from the mid-1950s until the early 1980s and involved mills in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia, USX said.

USX, when it was known as U.S. Steel Corp., owned Bessemer & Lake Erie Railroad, which was involved in the case. The railroad now is a subsidiary of Transtar Inc., which is partially owned by USX.

COAL MINERS HONOR

UMW TRUCKER STRIKE

POWELTON, W.Va. - Coal miners at a Fayette County mine are honoring a picket line by about 40 United Mine Workers truck drivers who are on strike, an official said.

The Cyprus Kanawha Corp. mine in Powelton, which is a subsidiary of Cyprus Minerals Inc., employs about 140 miners who have refused to cross the picket line since it was set up Monday, John Cooksey, human resources director, said Tuesday.

The pickets previously worked for A&M Trucking Co. of Elk Ridge, which had a contract to haul coal for the mine, Mr. Cooksey said. The contractor's agreement with Cyprus Kanawha expired in February but had been extended month to month, he said.

The UMW's labor contract with Cyprus Minerals, which agreed earlier this year to merge with Houston-based AMAX Energy, was set to end at midnight last night. The contract has been extended three times over the past six months, allowing the company to work under the terms of the 1988 Bituminous Coal Operators Association agreement.

TAHITI AIRLINE

EYES JUNE START-UP

PAPEETE, French Polynesia - The French South Pacific island of Tahiti will have its own international airline starting June 28, Gaston Flosse, territorial assembly president, said Wednesday.

The airline, to be called Air Tahiti Nui, will initially fly to Brazil and Argentina. It may later fly to Japan, South Korea, Thailand and Canada, he said.

The French private airline Corsair will hold 51 percent of Air Tahiti Nui's capital while 10 percentwill belong to French Polynesia's local government and the rest to unidentified private investors, Mr. Flosse said.

Tahiti is now served by French and foreign airlines while local companies carry out inter-island flights.