By Humphrey Carter

A Majorcan railway driver was in hospital in a critical condition last night after the Manacor to Palma train came off the tracks near Sineu at 6.43am injuring a further 30 passengers.

Eleven of the victims remained in hospital yesterday where they were being treated for a multitude of injuries, some serious, while the remaining 19 were treated for minor injuries either at the scene or local medical centres.

Sources at Son Dureta said yesterday afternoon that the train driver, who was admitted in a coma, had suffered serious head injuries and underwent an emergency operation. Last night he was in intensive care in a serious condition.

The derailment of the commuter train was caused by part of the concrete railway siding which had apparently given way over night and spilled across the track.

Yesterday afternoon, the Director General for Transport, Antoni Verger, said that the sidings had been carefully inspected and, initially, there were no signs of cracks detected in the concrete wall.

But, engineers will continue examining the full stretch of the wall and, if needed, reinforce the railway sidings, and, until the stretch of track has been declared safe, all services have been cancelled. “Passengers' safety is more important than any thing,” he said.
Verger said that engineers suspect that the piece of wall gave way under the recent heavy rains and may have been shaken by the final Manacor train as it ran past on Tuesday night.

The Balearic Minister for Transport and the Environment, Gabriel Vicens, was on the scene within minutes of the accident being reported.
Vicens said that the accident was a tragedy but it would appear that no one is to blame and last night, Verger added that the train will not be examined as it is not being considered to have been at fault for the accident.

Alternative transport services were being organised for the Manacor railway users and they will be made public today.