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Two Trains With 400 People Collide Head-On in Heredia

Emergency personnel established a “triage” area to classify and assess the injured. (José Cordero, La Nacion)

Two seriously injured and more than 100 with cuts and bruises among other injuries is the preliminary count of the frontal collision between two commuter trains with 400 people, on Monday afternoon, in Santa Rosa de Santo Domingo, Heredia.

The crash occurred minutes before 6:00 pm in the area between La Tormenta and Santa Rosa, in a very dark area surrounded by mounds of earth, which complicated the extraction of the injured.

Jose Cordero, La Nacion

Trains 2459 and 2460 were in involved in the collision. One was traveling in the San Jose – Heredia direction, while the other traveled in the opposite direction.

Image from La Nacion

Due to the impact, several neighbors who live nearby ran to help the injured, using spotlights, to seek out the screams and cries. Within minutes paramedics and firefighters arrived at the scene.

Elizabeth Briceño, president of the Instituto Costarricense de Ferrocarriles (Incofer) – Costa Rican Railway – said that “eventually” the crash could be attributed to human error.

However, she warned she could not confirm the cause until she had a full report.

“It should never happen, it’s a security issue for our users,” Briceño said after confirming the temporary suspension of the train service between San José and Heredia.

Jose Cordero, La Nacion

“Everything happened very fast. I heard the other one (train) was coming because it sounded the horn. A boy fell on me as a result of the blow. I have injuries to my right knee. It hurts a lot. I had left work at 5 pm, “, Luis Mora Chaves, who takes the train between Heredia and Santo Domingo, said from a stretcher while he was being treated by paramedics.

Daniela Ulloa, a 22-year-old girl who was returning from her job in the Legislative Assembly, traveling on the other train said, “I’m hit, shocked. I was going from San Jose to Heredia, it was the 5:40 pm. I was in the third car … only a strong impact was felt and white smoke began to come out,” she said.

Jose Cordero, La Nacion

By 8:45 pm, the Cruz Roja (Red Cross) reported attending a total 100 patients, two of which were in serious condition, the others mostly with cut and bruises.

A total of 27 people were to take to hospital for further evaluation.

In April last year, in Pavas, two other trains collided frontally, and more than 100 passengers were injured.

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