Last Update 22:53
Monday, 23 September 2019

54 people injured in Barcelona train crash

AFP , Friday 28 Jul 2017
A picture taken on July 28, 2017 and obtained from the Instagram account "Ungatodecheshire" shows a commuter train which slammed into the end of the platform during the morning rush hour at Francia station in the Spanish city of Barcelona (Photo: AFP)
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A commuter train slammed into the end of the platform during the morning rush hour at a busy station in the Spanish city of Barcelona on Friday, leaving 54 people injured, emergency services said.

One person was seriously injured, 19 were injured "less seriously" including the driver and 34 were lightly injured, local emergency services said on Twitter.

The regional train, travelling from the town of Sant Vicenc de Calders, ran into buffers at the station at 7:15 am (0515 GMT), a spokesman for Spanish train operator Renfe said.

At the time of the accident many passengers were travelling standing up, which increased the number of injuries.

"At the moment of impact I had the feeling of experiencing an earthquake. People were swaying back and forth and colliding into each other," Lidia, who was travelling in the first carriage of the train, told Catalan newspaper La Vanguardia.

"Many people fell to the ground because people were standing up and I saw several people with cuts to the head and face from the blows they suffered when they fell," she added.

Pictures from the scene posted on social media show the interior of the train covered in shattered glass.

Others showed firefighters treating injured commuters on the platform. The damaged front of the train was covered in blue plastic.

The streets around the station were closed off to allow emergency vehicles to get through, news radio station Cadena Ser reported.

An investigation into the cause of the accident has been opened, the spokesman for Renfe said.

The accident coincided with the start of a national rail strike which forced the cancellation of hundreds of trains.

It was not immediately clear how many people were on the train at the time of the accident, an emergency services spokeswoman said.

The head of the regional government of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont, was at the scene of the crash and Public Works Minister Inigo de la Serna announced that he would travel to Barcelona.

The accident comes as Spain this week marked the four year anniversary of one of the country's worst rail disasters in which 80 people died in 2013 near the northwestern city of Santiago de Compostela.

The train from Madrid crashed as it hurtled round a sharp bend at 179 kilometres per hour (110 miles per hour) -- more than twice the speed limit for that stretch of track -- in the village of Angrois.

The driver of the train is facing trial, but under pressure from associations representing families of the victims officials have reopened their investigation to see if there was negligence on the part of the railway firm.

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