Human error, main hypothesis about the train accident in Portugal

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Lisbon, Aug 1 (EFE) .- Human error is the main hypothesis that the authorities are considering about the cause of the collision that occurred this Friday in the center of Portugal between a train and a machine that was making repairs on the track, and which ended with two dead.

According to a preliminary report by the Aircraft Accident and Rail Accident Prevention and Investigation Cabinet, which is investigating the collision, the maintenance vehicle ignored a red signal and continued to drive, entering the track that the train passed minutes later.

Maintenance machines do not have a speed control system, recalls the report, so “the automatic brake was not triggered” that could have stopped the vehicle before reaching a point of danger.

The system reacted to the advance of the machine, and another signal was automatically activated in red, this one for the track on which the train was running, an Alfa Pendular (AP), the fastest service in Portugal, which can reach 220 kilometers per hour.

“But a fraction of a second before (the red signal was activated), the AP train just passed it,” while it was still green, and when, at 190 kilometers per hour, they spotted the maintenance machine in the middle of the track, They activated the brake, “without the collision being prevented.”

The crash, which occurred in the municipality of Soure, derailed the first two wagons and caused the death of the two workers of the company Infraestructuras de Portugal (IP) who operated the repair machine, and also left 44 wounded, eight of them seriously .

A total of 212 passengers were traveling on the train.

During the morning of this Saturday, 41 of the wounded have been discharged, leaving three people admitted, according to hospital sources.

Meanwhile, work continues to clear the affected road, the Northern Line, the most important in the country that connects, among other cities, Lisbon and Porto.

The Portuguese President, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, is scheduled to visit the hospitalized wounded during the day.

The investigation, which is ongoing, must be closed within a maximum period of 12 months.

(c) EFE Agency

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