Spain: 10 injured when leaving stopped train in forest fire

MADRID — An approaching forest fire in eastern Spain caused a train driver to stop and prepare to change direction to avoid the flames, and several passengers were injured as they got out rather than waiting, authorities said on Wednesday.

The train was traveling in the Valencia region on Tuesday evening when the driver decided to change course due to the advancing wildfire from the town of Bejís, further east.

Some passengers got off the train as it stopped in the countryside, including those who broke windows to escape, officials said. Ten people were injured, the Spanish state news agency Efe reported.

The Castellón government on Wednesday tweeted a video of firefighters running for their lives as towering flames from the Bejís fire roared behind them.

The forest fire is one of two that is still out of control in eastern Spain.

South of the city of Valencia, a fire in the Val d’Ebo region has set fire to 11,500 hectares (28,000 acres) and forced more than 1,500 people to evacuate towns and villages since the weekend.

The region’s emergency services tweeted Wednesday afternoon that nearly 10,000 hectares (25,000 acres) had been burned in the Bejís fire and 1,500 people had left their homes.

Valencia’s regional president, Ximo Puig, previously said the Bejís fire had a circumference of about 50 kilometers (30 miles) and the Val d’Ebo fire a circumference of 80 kilometers (50 miles).

The European Forest Fire Information System says that 275,000 hectares (679,000 acres) have been burned in forest fires in Spain so far this year. That’s more than four times the annual average of 67,000 hectares (165,000 acres) in the country since 2006, when the records began.

In neighboring Portugal, authorities said they hoped to control a forest fire that has been burning for 12 days and has burned large areas of pine forest in the Serra da Estrela Natural Park.

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However, officials warned that a new heat wave forecast for the area could complicate the task.

Smoke from the Portuguese fire reached Spain’s capital, Madrid, about 400 kilometers (240 miles) to the east on Tuesday.


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