One dead, 49 hurt as landslide derails train in Spain

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The train, travelling between Manresa and Barcelona, derailed due to a landslide following several days of heavy rain in the region, train operator Adif said

One person was killed on Tuesday and 49 others were injured, five seriously, when a train derailed near Barcelona due to a landslide caused by heavy rains, emergency services and Spain's rail operator said.

Two carriages of a convoy of six came off the tracks at 6:15 am (0515 GMT) near the town of Vacarisses, 35 kilometres (20 miles) northeast of Barcelona, emergency services said on Twitter.

Of the 133 people on board, 44 were lightly injured, five were seriously injured and one person died, it said.

The train "braked hard", one of the passengers, Mari Carmen, told Barcelona-based newspaper La Vanguardia.

"The lights went out and there was a lot of confusion. We saw rocks on the track. I was frightened but emergency services arrived very quickly."

Images broadcast on Spanish television showed rescue workers evacuating passengers. Rocks were piled up on the side of one carriage.

The train, which was travelling between Manresa and Barcelona, derailed due to a landslide following several days of heavy rain, rail operator Adif said in a statement.

The train's driver saw the landslide and slammed the emergency breaks but was unable to prevent the crash, Catalan newspaper El Periodico reported.

The area was fitted with netting to hold back rocks "but it did not resist the landslide," Transport Minister Jose Luis Abalos told news radio Cadena Ser. He said his ministry would investigate the cause of the accident.

Landslides had already caused trains to derail in the same area in 2009 and 2011, according to local press reports.

No one was injured in the derailment in 2009 but in 2011 the 11 people suffered mild injuries.

In 2013, 79 people died when a train travelling from Madrid to the northwestern city of Santiago de Compostela came off the tracks. It was Spain's worst train wreck in decades.