The Railway Infrastructure Administrator -Adif- and Renfe received no notification of possible incident on the road or that the area was being evicted by any organization as a result of the terrible fire in Bejís, in Castellón, nor were they informed that the weather conditions changed drastically compared to the morning when another medium-distance train made the journey Valencia-Zaragoza without detecting any anomaly. Thus, Renfe sources have told OKDIARIO this afternoon, in reference to the tragic event in which the so-called ‘panic train’ was involved, which came face to face with flames and smoke.
That train, with 49 passengers on board at the time of the events, faced an inferno of fire caused by the Bejís fire, in the province of Castellón. A circumstance that unleashed panic among the passengers, with glass breakage and forced doors. Only the skill of the driver prevented an absolute tragedy in an event for which 25 people were treated, and which resulted in 14 injuries, 3 of them seriously due to burns.
OKDIARIO has had access, through Renfe sources, to the story defended by the main passenger and freight transport company in Spain about what happened around the ‘panic train‘. A story in which the aforementioned sources do not mention even once the Generalitat Valenciana, neither Emergencies nor Civil Protection, but which is crystal clear.
According to the aforementioned sources, the Valencia-Zaragoza medium-distance train left the Turia capital at 4:23 p.m. with a contingent of 30 passengers. During the journey to the scene of the events, another 21 passengers got on the wagons, but 2 got off, so when it all happened there were 49 passengers in the convoy.
“No one notified the manager”
Adif, always according to those sources cited, authorized the departure as it was not aware of any incident – in this case a monumental forest fire – on the road along which its route was taking place: «No one notified the infrastructure manager of a possible incident on the road», repress.
It was at 5:54 p.m., according to that account, when a rain of smoke and ashes He led the driver, the highest authority on the train at the time, to stop his march. Next, he contacted the command post in circulation to ask, expressly, if there was a fire in the surroundings, but the aforementioned command post replied that they did not know that information. Both at that time and when the convoy left Valencia.
The decision to back down
However, while talking to the aforementioned command post, the driver sees flames and communicates that he is going back. The command post authorizes it to the station of White Masadas. Finally, and given the difficulties to reach that station, it will continue towards Caudielwhere security forces and health services must wait for her.
In order for the train to go backwards, the driver must change cabins and go from end to end of the convoy. This is when situations of tension are perceived. Some passengers tell you that they want to leave the train. The driver warns them not to do it. In those moments of confusion, the fire-fighting systems and the automatic brake are activated when breaking some passengers, always according to those sources, emergency windows. Despite the adversities, the driver rearms the train and starts it up, heading for Caudiel, at 6:20 p.m., picking up people who have gotten off earlier and are in the vicinity. Some of them with burns due to the fire of different consideration.
What the protocol says
According to the same sources, the protocol in these cases establishes that Adif will suspend the circulation of the trains at the request of the State Security bodies or the Administration in charge of these decisions. But as was said at the beginning, according to the sources cited, neither Adif nor Renfe receive any communication, beyond that of the train driver himself. Both one and the other consider that they have complied with the protocol. Now, the open investigation must ratify it to clarify the facts.