Injuries in Friday’s train collision could have been much greater

More than half of the passengers were able to walk away from the collision of two commuter trains Friday morning. Health officials estimated that of 245 persons on board, some 106 went to medical centers.

The Cruz Roja said that 90 persons were treated at hospitals and released and just six were seriously hurt. Among these were front cab occupants of both trains.

All of the train cars stayed on the tracks, and videos shot seconds after the collision showed most passengers unhurt and milling around the car.

The Cruz Roja, the Cuerpo de Bomberos and the Fuerza Publica each had their own reports which varied slightly.

The Instituto Nacional de Seguros noted that the national rail service, the Instituto Costarricense de Ferrocarriles, maintains a liability policy and that its system handled 90 patients. Some of the most seriously hurt were being treated at the insurance institute’s Hospital de Trauma in La Uruca.

Guillermo Santana, executive president of the rail institute, said at the scene in Pavas Friday that the cause of the crash was human error and a lack of communication.

Opposition lawmakers quickly called for his resignation. A statement by the Partido Liberación Nacional said that Santana declined to set up geolocational devices on the trains.

Fire fighters, police and Cruz Roja personnel at crash site.

Fire fighters, police and Cruz Roja personnel at crash site.

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