7 May 2004
ALBACETE – Five passengers in the same car were killed Friday when they were hit by a train on a level crossing.
Three women and two men died in the accident at Hellin, near Albacete in south-east Spain.
The train was derailed but no passengers were injured, national rail operator Renfe said.
The accident happened at 7.15am when the high-speed train between Cartagena and Madrid hit a car that was crossing the tracks.
The crossing has barriers.
Sources said the Opel Kadett car appeared to ignore the signals which showed that a train was about to pass along the line.
A Renfe spokesman said: “We treat level-crossings with the maximum level of security with signs which come into operation minutes before a train arrives.
“The car appeared to try to get round the barriers by zig-zagging around them as they were coming down.”
The train driver could not avoid crashing into the car which was pushed 500 metres along the track.
All those who died were Bolivian immigrants aged between 25 and 35 years old, according to local health authority spokesman.
They lived in the nearby town of Hellin where they were going to work.
None of the 160 passengers was injured and they were all taken on to Madrid by coach.
The new minister of development, Magdalena Alvarez, travelled to the scene of the tragedy to hear from the train authorities and emergency services.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news