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Wildfires Engulf Spanish Train - 20 Injured

Up to 20 passengers suffered burns, three serious after they jumped from a train engulfed in a forest fire near Castellón in northeastern Spain. The train, en route from Sagunta in the eastern province of Valencia to Zaragoza, stopped while the train driver attempted to reverse.

Fearing that the train would be engulfed in flames, many passengers panicked and fled after the windows were broken. 2 of them were severely burned and evacuated by helicopter; others, including a young girl aged around 10, were taken to nearby hospitals. According to the emergency services, a 58-year-old woman is among those who suffered the worst burns after escaping from the train.

The 48-passenger train stopped, and before the driver could back away from the fire, several passengers broke windows and ran onto the tracks. "As soon as they saw that they were surrounded by fire, they got back on the train and several of them suffered burns," said a spokesman for the Spanish rail company Renfe. Valencian President Ximo Puig said more than 1,000 people had been evacuated from their homes as strong winds fanned the flames in Bejís, Valencia, adding that two firefighters had also suffered burns.

Valencia is the latest region to experience severe forest fires during a prolonged heat wave in Spain that destroyed thousands of forests. The Bejís fire has already consumed 800 hectares (1,900 acres), while elsewhere in the province, the Vall d'Ebo fire continues to burn out of control after destroying 11,000 hectares of forest.

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