The suspected suicide of a man on the line near Olhão’s railway station caused horror and distress on Saturday evening as emergency crews dealt with the grim aftermath.
The Faro to Vila Real de Santo António line was closed to traffic from just after 19:00 to 22:00.
According to witnesses, the man ignored the warnings of the guard on duty at the pedestrian crossing and threw himself in front of the slowly moving westbound train.
The pedestrian level crossing is manned as part of the botched solution to the ‘Berlin Wall’ controversy that at first led to the closure of the old crossing point, forcing people to use the unsuitable road underpass.
Until this underpass is widened by Infraestrutura de Portugal to enable the safe passage of pedestrians, the overground crossing is open but with a guard on duty during daylight hours, after which it is locked and left unattended.
The work on the underpass was meant to start in early 2016 but nothing has happened. Until this work is completed, pedestrians can use the above ground crossing under the eye of an attendant security guard.
This has little to do with yesterday’s death of the man who locals say had tried to kill himself in the past.
The emergency ambulance service, the police and local firemen all attended the scene.