Spain is in shock after a high-speed train killed 12 people crossing railway tracks on what was meant to be a night of celebration.
At least 14 others were injured as the express slammed into a group heading to a beach party near Barcelona.
The victims, mostly young people and many of Latin American origin, had just got off a commuter train at the small coastal stop of Castelldefels Playa. They were taking a shortcut to the beach.
One eye witness said: “I came here with my sister, my wife and my daughter. She is only eight years old. My wife managed to cover my daughter’s eyes until we got out of the station but she still saw some blood. We pretended it was a dead dog but I don’t think she believed us because everybody was too upset. There were so many screams. People were upset. She is not going to forget it.”
A pedestrian walkway over the tracks was closed.
Witnesses said an underpass was open but that it was packed and that those hit were crossing the tracks to avoid getting stuck in slow-moving crowds.
Spanish Infrastructure Minister Jose Blanco said: “I have ordered an investigation to find out all the circumstances related to the accident. Although everything indicates that it happened due to the imprudent failure to use the station underpass.”
The tragedy occurred amid Spain’s traditional St John’s Day celebrations. A day of mourning has now been declared in Catalonia. King Juan Carlos cancelled a huge reception planned for today.