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One killed and 44 injured as landslide causes commuter train to derail outside Barcelona

Heavy rain in the area over the past few days could have caused the landslide, authorities have said.

Image: Bombers de Catalunya

Updated Nov 20th 2018, 11:31 AM

ONE PERSON HAS been killed and 44 others injured, three of them seriously, after a commuter train derailed near Barcelona due to a landslide caused by heavy rains.

Two carriages in a convoy of six came off the tracks near the town of Vacarisses, 35 kilometres northeast of Barcelona, at around 6:15 am this morning.

131 people were on board at the time, 41 of whom were lightly injured.

Images broadcast on Spanish television showed rescue workers evacuating passengers with rocks piled up on the side of one carriage.

The train, which was travelling between Manresa and Barcelona, derailed due to a landslide following several days of heavy rain in the region, train operator Adif said in a statement.

The area was fitted with netting to hold back rocks “but it did not resist the landslide”, Spain’s transport minister Jose Luis Abalos told news radio Cadena Ser.

He said his ministry would investigate the cause of the accident.

Landslides had already caused trains to derail in the same area in 2009 and 2011, according to local press reports.

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No one was injured in the derailment in 2009 but in 2011 the 11 people were lightly hurt, according to the reports.

In 2013, 79 people died when a train travelling from Madrid to the northwestern city of Santiago de Compostela came off the tracks in Spain’s worst train wreck for decades.

© AFP 2018

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