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Location: Middleburg (Jacksonville), Florida, United States

Published in Trains magazine, Railfan & Railroad, Passenger Train Journal

Monday, August 21, 2006

Overseas

6 die in Spain wreck

A train carrying hundreds of passengers derailed in northern Spain on Monday, killing at least six people and injuring around 60, authorities said.

The six-car train went off the tracks shortly before 4 p.m. near the town of Villada in Palencia province, about 95 miles northwest of Madrid, according to the state rail company RENFE.

The cause of the accident was not immediately known but there was no indication of terrorism or other foul play, said Civil Guard spokesman Ruben Marcos.

Five people were pronounced dead at the scene, and a 30-year-old man died later at a hospital in the city of Valladolid, an Interior Ministry spokesman said. Sixty people were injured, two of them seriously. Most of the others were treated at the scene, he said.

Police said the derailment occurred near the town’s train station, The AP reported. TV footage showed the mangled coaches, and seats and backpacks spread across the tracks.

The train, carrying 426 passengers, was heading from the northwest Galicia region through the Basque region toward the border with France when it derailed.

Witnesses said the train was carrying many pilgrims who were returning from a religious event.

The accident came just over a month after 43 people were killed when a subway train derailed in downtown Valencia in eastern Spain. That accident — the worst for a subway system in Spain – was blamed on excessive speed.

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