April 21, 2021

A chain of possible human errors caused by the train accident

A chain of possible human errors caused by the train accident


The Minister of Public Works, José Luis Ábalos, does not rule out "a concatenation of human errors" as a cause of the frontal collision of two trains occurred yesterday in Castellgalí (Barcelona) and has ruled out that the accident has to do with the lack of investments of the State in the Rodalies network, according to EFE.

A Regional train of line R-12, which served between L'Hospitalet de Llobregat and Lleida, and another Rodalies de la R-4, which circulated between Terrassa and Manresa, clashed head on about 18:20 yesterday of the old stop of Castellgalí, in a stretch of double track.

In the accident, died Rodalies train driver, a 26-year-old girl from Granada, six people were seriously injured and a hundred with minor injuries and contusions.

The minister traveled to Barcelona this morning where he gave his condolences to the family and moved to the Centralized Traffic Control Center of the Station in France to learn about the first research work that is being carried out.

In declarations to the press, Ábalos, has recognized that there has been a lack of railway investments in Catalonia as well as automation and renewal of security measures. However, not only in Catalonia but in the whole of Spain.

He also assured that this situation "has nothing to do", in principle, with the causes of the accident, since it does not rule out "human failures".

He has said that "as the line is, the human factor is very present", since "it is not that it is deteriorated" but it is evident the need to modernize the entire railway line in Spain, just as it has been found the Government of Pedro Sánchez.

For Ábalos, saying that "the cause of the accident is the lack of investment in Rodalies is precipitated", words that he has transmitted to the Conseller of Territory, Damià Calvet.

The conseller recalled today that it is the second fatal accident that occurs in three months along the same line, in a stretch of 10 kilometers, which, in his opinion, reflects "the historical deficit of financing of the Spanish State for infrastructure of Catalonia".

In statements to TV3, Calvet has also pointed out three possible failures that occurred yesterday, the bad routing of the train with a double detour of track, that there was no communication between machinists and the control center to warn that two trains were on the same track and a lack of reaction from the control center.

He explained that in the R-4 there is an automatic double-track system, but that it does not have the system that allows detecting the presence of the train on the road and the direction in which it circulates.

Calvet has also demanded that no more trains travel on the R-4 until there are improvements in the infrastructure.

To clarify the causes of the accident, Ábalos has assured that there are three open investigations, one of Renfe, another of Adif and the third of the Railway Accidents Commission, in addition to the one instructed by the Mossos d'Esquadra as judicial police, which today have made an ocular inspection and have begun to analyze the contents of the black boxes of the two damaged trains.

In a couple of days, according to the minister, it will be possible to have a preliminary report of the facts, regardless of the results of the investigations.

The judge investigating the case has authorized the technicians of Renfe and Adif to access the accident site on Saturday morning to begin work to restore service.

Renfe calculates that the rail trains that led the collision will last about 40 hours, to which will be added another 17 hours, the estimated time to repair the damaged facilities, which means that at least until Tuesday the line will not be able to return be operational

The mayor of Castellgalí, Cristófol Gimeno, has shown himself to be powerless due to the bad functioning of the railway service as it passes through the Bages region and has demanded a train in conditions for that area.

After being treated for several hours by the emergency teams, by primary care professionals from the outpatient clinics of the area and in hospitals, twelve of the injured in the accident remain hospitalized today, three of them in serious condition.

Ábalos and Calvet have met today to discuss the accident but neither of them has made statements at the end of the meeting.

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