1st March 2024
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Police confirm body found between train carriages is missing young footballer

The body of Álvaro Prieto, 18, who was reported missing in the south of Spain on Thursday 12 October, was discovered by a Spanish TV camera crew during a live broadcast in Seville on Monday morning.

The body that was spotted between two moving train carriages on Monday morning during a live broadcast was later confirmed as that of the missing young footballer by the Spanish National Police in Seville.

The teenager, an engineering student who played for the Córdoba youth team in Andalusia, had been reported missing since last Thursday after he was last seen near the Santa Justa train station in Seville.

Spain’s national broadcaster RTVE later issued an apology for the images broadcast: ‘We apologise for the images that we have offered live on the programme Mañaneros on La 1,’ a statement read (see below). ‘Images that should never have been broadcast and that have since been removed from the digital broadcast of the programme. We reiterate our apologies to the family of Álvaro Prieto.’ The broadcaster also said that it would be holding an internal investigation as to how the images were broadcast.

The train where the body of the missing young man was found had been out of service for weeks, Spain’s state train operator RENFE said (see below). It was broken down and had not been moved or undergone any inspection or maintenance since 24 August. RENFE said that it had been parked on a track at the Santa Justa works, under the Carmona bridge, until Monday morning, when it was moved to make way for another train unit.

The train operator expressed its condolences to Prieto’s family and said that it was collaborating with the police in their investigation.

The teenager had spent a night out with his friends last Wednesday at the Theatre nightclub, about 3.5km from Santa Justa station. After the night out he walked to the station but missed the 7.35am train that he had an electronic ticket on his phone for. He reportedly tried to catch another train at 8.55am from Seville to Barcelona with a stop in Córdoba, but was refused entry onto the train. Spanish media have reported that his mobile phone had run out of battery power and he could neither show his train ticket or a bank app or card to pay for a new one. He also reportedly did not have a phone charger or cash on him.

According to reports, although at first Prieto was asked to leave the station, he re-entered after sneaking through a gap in the wire fence and crossed the tracks with the intention of getting on the next train that could take him home. Security guards intercepted him and ejected him from Santa Justa station.

Prieto then reportedly left the area at about 9.30am and was caught on CCTV at the station’s east gate. After a National Police appeal, four key witnesses came forward who had seen Prieto at the Santa Justa station and who agreed that, although his intention was to get on the train, he was respectful towards the RENFE staff at all times.

Police officers have not ruled out any hypothesis of how the teenager died.

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