Panic in the train trapped by the Bejís fire
A 30-year-old Valencian woman led the flight from the panic convoy: "I saw my life pass before my eyes"
Today Virginia's feet are burned from running barefoot (she was in flip-flops), but without her, she may
the "panic train" that entered the Bejís fire (Castellón) on Tuesday afternoon it would have been the train of death. It was she who led the flight from the train when she saw that the driver was "totally overwhelmed." "He kept repeating, 'I don't know what to do, I don't know what to do, the train isn't moving,'" she assured this Wednesday, still scared in her body.
“The train left Valencia for Zaragoza. When we had been on the road for half an hour, we saw the completely uncontrolled fire in the distance. We thought that the train was going to go by another route, "says Virginia, who explains that the smoke began to enter through the wagons when they had been traveling for an hour. “People got nervous, there were people with respiratory difficulties...”, assures this young woman: “We saw that the flames surrounded the train”.
It was then that Virginia tried to help the driver "because she lost control." "Not know what to do. She told me if she could organize people because she left her job », says Virginia. "She kept saying that she couldn't start the train and that she was waiting for orders, but the flames were already there and she couldn't breathe," she says. The driver "decided" to open the door so they could escape. "About fifteen people got off and started running along the tracks in the opposite direction to the flames," she says.
"Those who stayed on the train were elderly people and many children who could not run away. They said they were staying there to die », he regrets. Those who ran away, meanwhile, faced scorching winds and blazing temperatures. "There were people who fainted and vomited, but I told them to keep running because if we stopped we would all suffocate," says Virginia. “We ran for almost three kilometers fleeing the flames. We climbed a hill to have visibility and we saw three houses in the distance », she explains.
“When we got closer to the houses, the neighbors came in vans to help us. It was Ragudo, in Viver. They told us that they had seen the train go into the flames and had stayed to help us if anyone ran away. They believed that we were all going to die, ”says Virginia, who has filed a complaint this morning.
“The driver was not in control at any time. She began to run from one place to another », assures Virginia, who says that she tried « to lend a hand ». «If we stayed on the train, as the situation was, if it doesn't start, all those people die. I saw my life flash before my eyes. If not, I don't run away », she assures.
Renfe's version is different: they say that if it weren't for the driver, who remained calm, the losses would have been enormous. "It was because of the train calming people down while it went to the queue cabin, but the passengers lost their nerve," they insisted this morning. It should be noted that already on Tuesday night, Caudiel's witnesses assured that those who left the train said that they had had to activate the emergency lever to leave the convoy while the flames besieged them.