Disasters & Accidents

Probe launched after passengers abandon train near Spain wildfire

(Update 1: Adds details)

Valencia, Spain, Aug 17 (EFE).- Spanish judicial police have launched an investigation after around dozen passengers were injured, three seriously, in a panicked breakout from a train as it prepared to reverse away from a wildfire in the country’s east.

The regional president of the Valencia region, Ximo Puig, confirmed the probe Wednesday, a day after the incident took place near an active wildfire around Bejís as the train was en route from Valencia to Zaragoza.

Early indications suggest the train driver acted “correctly” in their decision to halt the train and prepare to return back to the nearby station of Caudiel but that there was some sort of “action on the part of some travelers,” he added.

Renfe, Spain’s state rail network, is also probing the incident.

Seized by panic as the train became surrounded by smoke, a number of passengers broke windows and opened doors to abandon the vehicle.

Three people were seriously injured, including a 58-year-old woman with extensive burns, according to Spanish health authorities. A total of six people remained in hospital on Wednesday.

The Bejís wildfire remains out of control and has forced the evacuation of several towns around its focal points.

A firefighter was injured in the early hours of Wednesday during efforts to extinguish the blaze, according to emergency services.

Amid a succession of summer heatwaves, Spain has witnessed its worst year of wildfires in terms of area burned, according to the European Union’s Copernicus satellite tracking system since its records began in 2008. EFE


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