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French MP left red-faced after parked car blocks train

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image captionJean Lassalle said the parking space appeared "magnificent", only to realise his mistake later

It can be tempting to take a risk when parking in a hurry - but one French MP has shown why it's always worth checking where you've left the car.

Jean Lassalle, 65, was late to watch his son's rugby match in the south-western town of Bedous on Sunday.

"I was late, I saw this magnificent place and I parked there," he told local news outlet France Bleu.

But his mistake soon become clear: "I saw the [police] approaching me during the match," he said.

"When they explained the situation to me... I suddenly realised," he added.

Mr Lassalle, an independent MP who ran in the 2017 presidential election, was told his car had been left on a level crossing.

And as if to add to the jeopardy, the police said his vehicle was currently blocking a passenger train.

"I was totally surprised," Mr Lassalle told the Sud Ouest newspaper. He was then driven to the scene of the hold-up where he quickly moved his car.

"The train was indeed at a standstill," he said. "I apologised to the passengers. Everyone was very nice."

"Fortunately, the visibility from the train was good and there was no danger," he told France Bleu. "I have no excuse: it's been two years since the line [opened] and I even inaugurated it… it's a big mistake."

Mr Lassalle escaped without a fine, but he had one suggestion for how similar mistakes could be avoided in future.

"If I had a driver like many of my peers, that would not happen!" he quipped to Sud Ouest.

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