Pope Laments Barcelona Train Accident

13 Youth Killed, 14 Injured

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VATICAN CITY, JUNE 25, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI has expressed his condolences in a telegram today for the 13 youth who were killed train accident Thursday at a rail station just south of Barcelona, Spain.

The accident took place when a group of young people, aged 16-25, decided to cross the railroad tracks at the Castelldefels Playa train station —  just south of Barcelona — instead of  taking the pedestrian underpass.

As they were crossing, a train traveling within the speed limit at 139 kilometera/hour (86 miles/hour) entered the station. The driver sounded the horn, but at the speed he was traveling, there was nothing he could do to stop the train in time. The driver passed alcohol and drug testing.

Officials confirmed that many of the 13 victims were from South America, including countries such as Ecuador, Bolivia and Colombia. Some 14 others were injured.

The message sent on behalf of the Pope through his secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, said the Holy Father was «truly saddened» by the news, and that he would pray for the eternal rest of those who had died.

The telegram was addressed to Bishop Agustí Cortés of Sant Feliu de Llobregat, the diocese reported.

Benedict XVI also expressed hope that the 14 youth who were injured would recover, and offered his condolences to the families of the dead. He extended «from the heart, the comforting apostolic blessing, as a sign of hope in the Risen Lord.»

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