Transportation

At least 56 injured in train accident in central Barcelona

Commuter service hit buffer stop in Francia station; one passenger reported to be in serious condition

One of the injured passengers in the Francia station.Carles Ribas / Video: EPV

At least 56 people were injured on Friday morning after a commuter train slammed into a buffer stop at Barcelona’s Estació de França station, said Catalan authorities. One of the victims is reported to be in serious condition, although injuries to that person are not thought to be life-threatening.

Early reports from the accident scene had talked about 48 injured, with five in serious condition.

Accident Francia station: 48 affected, at least 18 required transfer to medical centers (5 in serious condition). 30 passengers pending assessment.

“The train was braking, otherwise the consequences would have been worse. The train derailed from the effect of the collision,” said Josep Rull, the Catalan commissioner for territorial affairs.

Spanish Public Works Minister Íñigo de la Serna said that the train involved in the accident had passed all relevant inspections, the most recent being on July 18, and that it had “made its approach to the station at the correct speed.” The 31-year-old driver of the train had seven years of experience.

Spanish railway operator Renfe and rail infrastructure firm Adif are now investigating the which incident took place at 7.15am when a train that had departed from Sant Vicenç de Calders (Tarragona) on the R2 South line, pulled into the station.

The train was unable to brake and rammed into a buffer stop at the end of Track 11. Many of the passengers were already standing in readiness to alight and either fell to the floor or crashed into the side walls of the train.

“It was like an earthquake, but we got lucky,” said Lidia, a passenger who was riding in the first car and was asleep at the time of the crash.

Numerous ambulances were immediately dispatched to Estació de França, the second busiest railway station in the Catalan capital. Most of the injured were treated on the scene.

English version by Susana Urra and George Mills.

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