One person airlifted to hospital to be treated for severe burns, local authorities say
The driver halted the train, which was travelling from Sagunto to Zaragoza, on Tuesday evening so that he could reverse it away from the advancing blaze.
Camera footage shot by one of the passengers showed roaring flames close to the train windows.
Despite a warning to stay onboard for their own safety, a group of passengers, panicked by the sight of the flames, decided to leave their carriages. Some of them broke windows in order to escape.
“Once they saw that they were surrounded by fire they got back on the train and several of them had suffered burns,” the Spanish rail company Renfe said in a statement.
Three of them suffered serious injuries, with one person airlifted to a Valencia hospital, the local health authorities said.
Officials have indicated that an investigation into the incident will be launched.
The fire, which began near the city of Bejis, has already raged across 25,000 acres of land, the region’s emergency services said.
The Castellon regional government tweeted a video earlier this week showing firefighters running away from the fire, after they were unable to contain it.
Another fire is also tearing through the same part of Spain. The blaze in the Val d’Ebo area has forced more than 1,500 people to evacuate their homes in recent days.
The Bejis and the Val D’Ebo fires have 30-mile and 50-mile perimeters respectively, Valencia’s regional president Ximo Puig said.
In total, 679,000 acres in Europe have been burned in Spain by wildfires this year. This is more than four times the annual average, according to the European Forest Fire Information System.
Additional reporting by AP