Negligence by a bus driver resulted in a bus colliding with a train in the Barrio Cuba neighborhood, southwest of downtown San José, Monday morning, the daily La Nación reported. The accident injured 25 people.
Passengers, some who were standing on the packed bus, told the newspaper that they shouted to the bus driver that a train was coming behind them, but the driver did not react. A Traffic Police officer said the driver ignored railroad demarcation lines and safety precautions at the tracks before the accident. However, the head of bus company Transportes Doscientos Cinco S. A. disagreed with that conclusion.
Walter Calvo told La Nación the bus driver had been blinded by the sun near the tracks and there are no traffic lights or road signs to help prevent accidents in the area.
The crash happened at 7:35 a.m., said Freddy Román, a spokesman for the Costa Rican Red Cross. Of the 25 injured, who Red Cross responders treated, two were transported in delicate condition to San Juan de Dios Hospital and the National Children’s Hospital, in San José, Román said. The remaining 23 injured were treated for minor injuries at San José clinics.
Román said the Red Cross sent 15 ambulances and rescue vehicles to the scene of the collision. He said that in the past, the Red Cross has provided assistance to train-vehicle collisions in the San Pedro area east of San José, as well as at Plaza Víquez in southern San José.
Monday’s collision was the “strongest” train-vehicle collision in recent months, Román said, and the first this year for the Red Cross. Train and vehicle collisions – particularly with buses – often result in high numbers of patients needing treatment, said Román.