Thursday 25 July 2013

Dozens Die In Spain Train Disaster

At least 77 people have been killed and more than 100 injured as a passenger train derailed in north-western Spain, according to reports.
The train, which was heading from Madrid to Ferrol, crashed off the tracks near Santiago de Compostela in Galicia. More than 70 bodies are reported to have been removed from the wreckage.

State-owned train operator Renfe said in a statement that 218 passengers and an unspecified number of staff were on board at the time of the accident. Renfe said the derailment happened at 8.41pm local time on a high-speed section that was inaugurated two years ago.

Feast day festivities planned in Santiago de Compostela were cancelled, town hall spokeswoman Maria Pardo told Spanish National television TVE.

A photographer at the scene said he saw dozens of what appeared to be bodies being extracted from the wreck by emergency workers. TVE showed footage of what appeared to be several bodies covered by blankets alongside the tracks next to the damaged train wagons and rescue workers entering toppled carriages through broken windows.

The accident occurred near the station in Santiago de Compostela, 60 miles south of El Ferrol. Rescue workers were also seen in the television images caring for people still inside some of the wagons.

Television footage showed one wagon pointing upwards into the air with one of its ends twisted and disfigured. Another carriage that had been severed in two could be seen lying on a road near the track.

The train, which belongs to the state-owned Renfe company, was not an AVE high speed train, but it was a relatively luxurious version that uses the same track as Spain's fastest expresses.

It was Spain's deadliest train accident in decades. In 1944, a train travelling from Madrid to Galicia crashed and killed 78 people. Another accident in 1972 left 77 dead on a track to south-western Seville, according to Spanish news agency Europa Press.

reference: belfasttelegraph

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