‘Maintenance cart left in wrong place’: Two killed and 50 injured in Coimbra Alfa train accident
The derailment of an Alfa train is involved more than 200 emergency operatives in Casalinhos, in the district of Coimbra. Two helicopters were deployed to the site.
The train hit a maintenance and repair vehicle on the line, and the train driver has since been incarcerated. There are records of at least two dead so far, according to the Soure parish council. The two victims were workers who were operating a machine on the repair vehicle when the train hit.
There are seven serious injuries reported, with around 50 injuries in total. According to the district commander of Civil Protection, Carlos Tavares, speaking to reporters, all of the wounded were transported to Coimbra Hospital.
At the site of the crash, Américo Monteiro Oliveira gave his account of the accident. “I was traveling in carriage four from Lisbon to Braga, when the violent clash left everyone in an uproar.” He was not injured, but he guarantees that “there are several people with abrasions on the face, arms and legs”.
The passenger guarantees that assistance quickly arrived to begin to aid the wounded passengers and remove them from the train. According to Oliveira, the shock would have been more violent in carriages five and six. The latter will have even been derailed and flew onto the “opposite line”.
Américo reports that several people were trapped on the train, but some managed to get out by their own feet, right after the crash. When talking to the JN newspaper, the passenger also said that an INEM helicopter was one of the first vehicles to land at the scene. “There were many ambulances and fire trucks,” he says.
Passengers without injuries were directed by Civil Protection and municipal services to the Alfarelos station, in Granja do Ulmeiro.
Later on in the day, Comboios de Portugal promised to provide transportation, according to Américo Oliveira, to the stranded passengers, since the Northern Line is currently cut.
In a note from the President, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa expressed shock at the “serious railway accident” and presents “heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of the victims, wishing the numerous injured people a speedy recovery”. The President of the Republic also stressed that he is waiting for the “results of the technical and judicial investigations”, so that justice can be served to whomever is deemed responsible for the crash.