Hundreds say last goodbye to the 12 victims hit by train

Hundreds of people have gathered for the funeral of the 12 victims of the train accident in Castelldefels in a service that has become a massive tribute to interculturality.

Laura Pous

July 1, 2010 02:57 PM

Castelldefels (CNA).- Family members, friends, neighbours and political representatives attended on Wednesday evening the funeral for the 12 young people who died on Sant Joan’s Eve (Saint John’s eve, 23rd June) when they were hit by a high-speed train as they were crossing the track at the station of Castelldefels Platja. The joint funeral was held at the Santa Maria Church in Castelldefels.

The funeral became a tribute to the young people that lost their lives in a tragic train accident last week. The service, led by Bishop Agustí Cortes and Cardinal Josep Àngel Sáiz, was in Catalan and Spanish. The priest highlighted in his homily the spirit of community and pertinence of the victims, who were from foreign origin but, tragically, met their deaths in Catalonia, where they lived.

As seven of the victims were from Ecuador, the Consul of Equador in Barcelona, who attended the service, said that they were “the new Catalans”. Freddy Arellano Ruiz said that young people like those who died last week are “a hope for interculturality”. Arellano Ruiz remembered that the victims were heading towards a Catalan celebration when they crossed the train track.

Besides the Ecuadorian Consul, a large group of Catalan politicians, led by the Catalan Minister for Home Affairs, Joan Saura, attended the service. An investigation is being held in Catalonia to conclude the causes of the accident. The tragic death of the 12 young people has initiated a debate in the country about security in train stations and on tracks.