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Europe

Spanish train kills 12 festival-goers near Barcelona

Twelve people were killed when they were hit by a high-speed train while crossing a railway track near Barcelona. The victims were mostly young people on their way to a summer festival.

Police and rescue workers inspect a victim

Most of the victims were aged between 16 and 26

At least 12 people died when an express train hit them as they tried to cross a railway line near Barcelona.

A further 17 people were injured in the accident at about 11pm local time on Wednesday as the group made their way to a festival. Three of the injured were in a critical condition, according to Spanish radio station Cadena Ser.

Spanish media said the victims were mostly young people on their way to celebrate the San Juan summer festival near the coastal town of Castelldefels in Catalonia.

It is believed that they had arrived at the scene by train and were crossing the tracks to reach a beach where the celebrations were taking place. Spanish daily newspaper El Pais reported that all of the victims were aged between 16 and 26, except for one woman aged 45.

Closed bridge

A survivor said that a bridge across the railway had been closed and that a pedestrian tunnel was packed with festival-goers. National train operator Renfe contradicted the account.

The Spanish Interior Ministry said that passengers on the train, which was traveling between the coastal cities of Alicante and Barcelona, were not hurt. The railway line was closed following the accident.

The incident is Spain's worst main line railway accident since 19 people died in 2003, when two trains collided near to the southern town of Chinchilla.

Author: Richard Connor (dpa/AFP/Reuters)
Editor: Rob Turner

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