One dead, nine injured as train ploughs into truck on level crossing in Santarém

One person was killed and nine others injured – one of them a pregnant woman – after a train ploughed into the back of a truck carrying a JCB as it travelled slowly over a level crossing at on the Lisbon-Tomar line near Santarém, early on Tuesday evening.

The chaos of the impact saw train passengers falling over each other and in panic.

“It was terrible”, the ticket collector on the train told journalists.

“We got the feeling that the train had gone over something”, passenger Ana Isabel told Correio da Manhã.

What appears to have happened was that the slow passage of the truck over the level crossing caused the security barriers to go down before the truck was clear.

The truck driver’s mate got out to check that the load was not obstructing the line, and it was this man who was killed as a result of the impact.

Initial reports said that the Lisbon-Tomar train had derailed, but this was later refuted.

The truck however was turned over, and “debris spread various meters”.

Jornal de Notícias explained that the level crossing is “narrow, and comes after a sharp bend”.

Almost 200 passengers escaped unharmed.

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