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56 injured as train hits the buffers in Barcelona station

Fifty-six people have been injured after a Spanish commuter train crashed into the buffers at a station in north-eastern Barcelona.

A total of 53 people were taken to hospital after the incident at Francia station, in which passengers were thrown to the floor of the train.

Three of those were in a serious condition, said regional health authorities.

Catalan police said the 31-year-old train driver, who was slightly injured, had passed a drug and alcohol test.

The accident, which happened at 7.15am local time (6.15am BST), involved a train which set off from the coastal town of Sant Vicenc de Calders, south of Barcelona.

"When the train arrived at Francia station it applied the brakes, but at the same time it made a noisy crash," said passenger Said Saharaui.

"The passengers were thrown to the floor.

"Even though the train did brake, it wasn't until the crash when it reached a full stop."

The impact of the crash smashed the nose of the train and left it hanging off on one side. More damage occurred between the train's first and second cars.

The accident came as RENFE rail workers staged a one-day strike. The affected train was running as part of minimum services ordered by the public works ministry.

Public works minister Inigo de la Serna, who visited the scene, said the train had passed its most recent inspection on July 18.

He said officials are investigating data and equipment from the driver's cabin to try to understand the cause of the accident.

Many people in Spain were beginning their summer holidays on Friday, with Barcelona and surrounding towns traditionally popular destinations.

Francia is Barcelona's second main train station after Sants, which handles the bullet train and most inter-city services.

AP

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