An anti-nuclear protester was killed in France Sunday when his leg was cut off by a train carrying radioactive waste to Germany.

Paramedics tried to help the man at the scene near the town of Avricourt, but he died on the way to a nearby hospital, a police official said.

An early investigation suggests that 21-year-old Sebastien Briat was fatally hurt when the train came along unexpectedly as he and other protesters were trying to chain themselves to the rails.

An official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said at least one other protester had been hurt.

The incident happened down the track from the town of Nancy, where other anti-nuclear protesters briefly delayed the train by chaining themselves to the track.

The train was delayed about two hours before completing its trip to Germany.

Nuclear waste from German power plants is sent to France and Britain for reprocessing and then shipped back to Germany.