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Train Derails in Portugal

December 11, 2000

LISBON, Portugal (AP) _ A locomotive plunged into a river in Portugal on Monday, pulling two passenger cars off the tracks in an accident that officials said they believed killed the train’s operator.

A witness said the train hit a rock on the tracks before derailing near Regua, about 180 miles north of Lisbon. Four people _ the ticket collector and three passengers _ were slightly injured.

Divers were to recover the body of the operator, who officials feared was trapped inside the submerged locomotive, railroad spokesman Carlos Madeira told state radio station RDP.

One car was thrown onto its side on the embankment by the river, while the second tumbled next to the tracks, rescue worker Manuel Ribeiro said. Most of the 60 or 70 passengers escaped injury.

The train derailed at in the morning on a route that winds through the picturesque wine-growing Douro valley, linking Tua and Oporto.

Officials at Portugal’s state railroad company could not immediately be contacted.

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