Marcelo visits train crash victims in hospital

President Marcelo has visited the three ‘worst injured’ victims from Friday’s high-speed train crash in Soure, telling journalists outside the hospital that it’s vital that citizens ‘keep the faith’ when it comes to rail travel in Portugal.

The railways are “fundamental” for the “life of the country”, performing an “unsubstitutable social role”, said the head of State.

Yes, there are cases where people attempt suicide on railway lines, or incidents where people voluntarily or otherwise are killed after crossing level crossings when they shouldn’t, and yes, there are the “very rare cases like the one that happened on Friday” but “we cannot generalise”.

The Soure accident is one that “rarely occurs” given the “sophisticated level of railway technology involved”.

Portuguese people can be assured that rail travel “is safe. They can and should continue to use it”, said Marcelo.

Unfortunately, the president’s assurances belie the controversy ongoing behind the scenes that infrastructure authority IP has been dragging its heels to install ‘sophisticated technology’ in maintenance vehicles of the kind that appears to have caused the accident last Friday, killing both operatives inside (click here).

Meantime, those still in hospital are one of the train’s machinists and two women, one less injured than the other.

The machinist is the worst injured of all three. Explain reports, he suffered various trauma injuries, the most serious being thoracoabdominal causing internal bleeding.

He has been operated on – and faces the possibility of yet further surgery – but is conscious and described as ‘stable’ although his prognosis remains ‘reserved’.

[email protected]