“If the underpass had been used, we would probably not be talking about this tragedy right now,” he said.
But Ruiz said some in the group may have been confused after getting off the commuter train because they did not see signs indicating how to reach the underground passageway. They came across an overpass, but it was blocked off, Ruiz said.
Spanish officials said the station was remodeled last year and has clear signs showing passengers where to exit.
“It had a sign system that was well-made and it had a loudspeaker service that pointed out that the tracks must not be crossed,” said Victor Morlan, Spain’s secretary for infrastructure.
Catalan regional Interior Minister Joan Saura said the identification of the mutilated bodies “will not be easy and it will not be fast.”
Except for one woman in her 40s, all of the injured were 19 or younger and two are minors, said Marta Joves, spokeswoman for the Catalonia government’s civil protection department. Of the 14 injured, one is in extremely critical condition, two are in critical condition and four have been treated and released, she said.
The Catalan regional president, Jose Montilla, said declared a day of mourning as he visited the accident scene Thursday. Flags flew at half-mast at the town hall in Castelldefels and rail crews hosed down the bloodied train tracks. Spanish King Juan Carlos also canceled the annual celebration held in honor of his Saint’s day.
Enrique Sosa, a chef who works near the train station, said he rushed to the scene and helped wash off a 16-year-old boy covered in other people’s blood.
“He was shaking,” said Sosa, a 37-year-old Uruguayan.
Sosa then lent the boy his cell phone so he could call home.
Spain’s worst previous train accident came in 2003, when 19 people died in a collision between passenger and freight trains in the southeastern town of Chinchilla.
Woolls reported from Madrid, and Alan Clendenning contributed to this story from Madrid.
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