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Article Type: Disaster database From: Disaster Prevention and Management, Volume 17, Issue 2.
13 July 2006 Valencia, Spain
More than 30 people were killed today when a subway train derailed in the eastern city of Valencia, a leading radio station reported. A local government spokeswoman said two cars of the train derailed when it was leaving Jesus Station in downtown Valencia. Some 150 people had to be evacuated from the station.
4 July 2006
A subway train accelerated, shuddered and “flipped” off the tracks yesterday in Valencia, killing at least 41 passengers and injuring 47 in one of Spain’s worst rail accidents, officials and witnesses said. Regional authorities and a witness said the train was going too fast and one of its wheels broke into pieces, derailing the first car, which overturned. Victims were strewn in the tunnel. Officials did not say if the second car derailed. Authorities ruled out terrorism but have not determined the cause of the crash. Justice Ministry official Rosa Sanchez told The Associated Press that at least 41 people were killed and all but eight had been identified. She said that the driver was among those killed. Jorge Alvarez, secretary-general of the Independent Railway Union, said it was too early to blame human error for yesterday’s tragedy. He said his union repeatedly warned of safety problems on Valencia’s 18-year-old subway system, particularly the No. 1 line. “The train began to go faster than usual and started to move from one side to the other,” Cesar Hernandez Nunez, a 21-year-old student traveling in the second car, told the newspaper El Mundo. “Right after that it was chaos.” The accident occurred around 13:00 hrs, as the train approached Jesus station on a curved section of the track, authorities said.
5 July 2006 Hertfordshire, UK
Engineering firm Balfour Beatty has had the £10 million fine for its part in the Hatfield train crash cut to £7.5 million. The record-breaking fine was reduced by the Court of Appeal after defence lawyers argued it was excessive. The company had admitted breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act after the disaster in October 2000, in which four people died and 102 were injured. Balfour Beatty was then responsible for track maintenance. Railtrack was also fined £3.5 million for breaching safety laws. Today, three judges, headed by the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Phillips, ruled that the disparity between the original £10 million fine given to Balfour Beatty, and the £3.5 million fine incurred by Railtrack was so great that a reduction was appropriate.
11 July 2006 Jaipurhat District, Bangladesh
At least 20 people were killed and 40 injured when a train rammed into a packed bus at an unmanned railway crossing in Bangladesh’s western Jaipurhat district today, police said. They said the victims were all bus passengers. The accident occurred at Akkelpur, 220 km from the capital Dhaka, in the morning rush hour.