Managing the identification of the mortal victims run over by a train in the Castelldefels railway accident (Barcelona)

Eneko Barbería, Carles Martin-Fumadó, Ignasi Galtés, Mercé Subirana-Domenech, Lourdes Puigbarraca-Sol, Claudina Vidal-Gutiérrez, Juan Luis Valverde-Villarreal, Josep Castellà-García, Jordi Medallo-Muñiz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


© 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. The identification of disaster victims is the formal, organized process of identifying multiple bodies after an incident with multiple victims. The appropriate management of these incidents, particularly of the bodies, is one of the most crucial aspects of disaster response and its importance has led to the evolution of the concept of Disaster Victim Management. The aim of this study is to report how the process of identifying the 12 mortal victims of a railway accident in June 2010 in Castelldefels (Barcelona) was managed. The methodology used complied with the National Protocol for medical forensic and scientific police response to mass casualty incidents. The family assistance center also served as an ante mortem (AM) office. Despite the fragmentation of the bodies, all the victims were identified satisfactorily. The main problems observed during the management of the disaster were due to the state of the bodies, which raised many doubts as to the number of fatalities. The experience prompted a proposal to establish some recommendations on limiting the number of fragments to be analyzed genetically. We would like to stress the importance of setting up a Data Integration Center which brought together all the participating institutions, and collected and supervised all the different identification reports in a single comprehensive text addressed to the competent legal authority.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)366-370
JournalLegal Medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2015


  • Disaster victim identification
  • Disaster Victim Management
  • Forensic Pathology
  • Human identification


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