At least 10 people have been killed after a high-speed train derailed and crashed into a canal during a test run in eastern France, the country's presidential office has said.

The statement said that 10 others were also seriously injured in the accident in the town of Eckwersheim on Saturday.

About 50 people, mostly technicians, were on board for testing the next generation of TGV trains. None of them were paying passengers.

"The President of the Republic expresses its support to the victims and their relatives. It welcomes the work of the rescue teams on site," the statement said.

It was the worse French TGV train accident since the high-speed trains went into service in 1981.

A police team, helicopters and rescue vehicles were sent to the scene in response to the crash.

Source: Al Jazeera and agencies