July 3, 2006

Up to 30 killed in Spanish Metro crash

MADRID (Reuters) - Up to 30 people were killed on Monday
when an underground train careered off the tracks and
overturned in the Spanish city of Valencia, Spanish government
officials said on Monday.

The accident came as Valencia prepared to play host to Pope
Benedict for a two-day visit starting on Saturday and pilgrims
were already arriving in the seaside city.

About 150 people were evacuated from the station platform
and there were unconfirmed Spanish media reports of people
trapped in carriages.

"It seems this unfortunate accident was caused by excess
speed and a wheel breaking," government official Luis Felipe
Martinez told Spanish radio, adding that the number of dead in
the accident at the Jesus Metro station was still not

Ten people were seriously injured, he said.

Police sealed off streets outside the station and crowds
watched in strong sunshine as emergency crews wheeled injured
people into ambulances.

Valencia, a Mediterranean coastal city with a population of
about 700,000, lies about 350 Km (170 miles) from the capital,