British woman dies after being hit by Lagos-bound train
A British woman, said to be in her 60s (see update below), has died after being hit by a train on its way into Lagos this morning.
The woman, believed to be a holidaymaker, was apparently killed instantly.
Local reports described the force of the impact being “so great that she was flung over metal barriers along the railway line”, wrote the UK Sun.
What the woman was doing on the tracks is not clear. There are areas along popular Meia Praia beach where people have to step over the lines in order to get to the sands.
Said the Sun, the accident happened near Meia Praia around 10.15am.
Other newspapers give the slightly later time of 10.44, with Jornal do Algarve claiming the accident happened next to Lagos station (in other words, at the most westerly tip of tracks and north of Meia Praia).
Train services were affected for a number of hours but have since been reestablished.
Updates to follow.
Monday morning: The woman was in fact aged 73, say latest reports that claim she was accompanied at the time of the accident by a female friend who has had to receive trauma counselling.
The friend escaped unharmed.
The crossing is one where there are no barriers, signals or even lights to warn of approaching trains. There is simply a sign, written in Portuguese, telling people to “stop, listen and look”.
The sign is headed by the word: “Atenção” and there is a triangle beneath depicting a train.
In theory it should be enough warning to people approaching the little crossing to be on their guard, but anyone with bad hearing and vision could be at a disadvantage.
GNR police are now investigating the accident as the body of the so-far-unnamed holidaymaker has been transported to Portimão for autopsy.
According to reports, the train had only just left the little stop on the Meia Praia stretch of line – and the victim was crossing from the beach side, presumably back to her accommodation.
The accident was called in by the train driver and a member of the public, reports tabloid Correio da Manhã.
Tragically, this is a stretch of track that is notorious for this kind of accident. Local children, walkers and even golfers have been killed as the tracks border a beachside community immortalised by Portuguese singer Zeca Afonso and cut through an18-hole golf course.
Photo: Taken by Bernardo Rafael