Spain: Update: At least 77 killed, about 140 injured as train derails in Santiago de Compostela. Death toll may rise – 250713 0750z

Update 250713 0840 BST(0750Z GMT/UTC):

Sky News 6:49am UK, Thursday 25 July 2013

Spain Train Crash: Dozens Killed And Injured

Witnesses describe the horrific sight of bodies on the tracks after carriages carrying more than 200 people derailed.

The number of people dead after a train derailed in one of Spain’s worst rail disasters has reportedly risen as high as 77.

Many more are said to be critically injured and Spanish media reported emergency services were attempting to rescue several people still trapped inside carriages.

A British national was among those injured, the Foreign Office has confirmed.

Rescue workers pull victims from a train crash near Santiago de Compostela.
Casualties were pulled from the carriages

Lines of bodies covered with blankets were seen at the side of the tracks.

The crash happened as the train carrying 218 passengers plus crew approached Santiago de Compostela, a popular pilgrimage city in the northwestern region of Galicia.

Spain Dozens Killed As Train Derails In Santiago de Compostela
Survivors said the train flipped over ‘several times’

Several of the 13 carriages rolled over, with one carriage torn open and flames and smoke seen rising from the scene.

It has been described as an accident, but it will stir memories of the 2004 Madrid train bombing, which killed nearly 200 people.

One passenger, Ricardo Montesco, told Cadena Ser radio station: “It was going so quickly … It seems that on a curve the train started to twist and the wagons piled up one on top of the other.

Spain Dozens Killed As Train Derails In Santiago de Compostela
It is Spain’s deadliest train accident since 1972

“A lot of people were squashed on the bottom.

“We tried to squeeze out of the bottom of the wagons to get out and we realised the train was burning … I was in the second wagon and there was fire … I saw corpses.”

Spain Dozens Killed As Train Derails In Santiago de Compostela
Officials said they believed the crash was an accident

A witness told the station they heard an explosion before seeing the derailed train. Another witness told the Radio Galega station: “There are many people dead here, my God.”

The train belonging to the state-owned Renfe company was travelling from Madrid to the port city of Ferrol.

It derailed on high-speed tracks at about 8.40pm local time – 7.40pm UK time – on a bend a short distance from a scheduled stop in the city.

The train was travelling from Madrid.
The train was travelling from Madrid to the port city of Ferrol

Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, who is due to visit the scene later, called an emergency meeting with ministers and said: “I want to express my affection and solitarity with the victims of the terrible train accident in Santiago.”

The crash happened the day before the city’s main festival paying tribute to St James, one of Jesus’ 12 disciples. His shrine is the destination of the El Camino de Santiago pilgrimage, which has been followed by Christians since the Middle Ages.

END

Scores dead in Spanish train crash near Santiago de Compostela

Updated 2 hours 52 minutes ago

A train crash in north-west Spain’s Galicia region has killed at least 77 people and injured 143 in one of Europe’s worst rail disasters.

The eight-carriage train, operated by state rail company Renfe, came off the rails and caught fire near the city of Santiago de Compostela as it travelled between Madrid and Ferrol.

Key points

  • At least 77 people killed, 143 injured
  • The train came off the rails and caught fire
  • The crash is believed to be an accident, the Spanish government said
  • The incident happened on the eve of the ancient city’s main Christian festival

The president of the Galician regional government, Alberto Nunez Feijoo, described the scene as “Dante-esque”.

A government spokesman said the derailment appeared to be an accident.

The Spanish newspaper El Pais cited sources close to an investigation into the crash by Renfe and state-owned company Adif, which is in charge of the tracks, as saying the train was travelling at over twice the speed limit on a sharp curve.

An official source said no statement would be made regarding the cause of the derailment until the black boxes of the train were examined, but that it was most likely an accident.

Rescue workers have recovered 73 bodies from the wreckage of the train while four other victims died in hospital, a spokesman for the Galicia regional high court said.

Bodies on the ground as smoke billowed from wreckage

Bodies covered in blankets lay next to carriages as smoke billowed from the wreckage a few hundred metres away from the entrance to Santiago de Compostela’s main station.

“It was going so quickly … It seems that on a curve the train started to twist, and the wagons piled up one on top of the other,” passenger Ricardo Montesco told Cadena Ser radio station.

“A lot of people were squashed on the bottom. We tried to squeeze out of the bottom of the wagons to get out and we realised the train was burning … I was in the second wagon and there was fire … I saw corpses.”

Another witness told the radio station she had heard an explosion before seeing the derailed train.

Among the worst rail accidents in Europe in 25 years

The Galicia derailment was one of the worst rail accidents in Europe in 25 years and comes less than a fortnight after six people died when a train came off the tracks and hit the platform at a station in central France.

In Austria in November 2000, 155 people were killed when a fire in a tunnel engulfed a funicular train packed with skiers.

In Montenegro in 2006, as many 46 people were killed and nearly 200 injured when a packed train derailed and plunged into a ravine outside the capital Podgorica.

In Spain in the same year, 41 people were killed when an underground train derailed and overturned in a tunnel just before entering the Jesus metro station in Valencia.

Scores dead in Spanish train crash near Santiago de Compostela

ABC News

“A train crash in north-west Spain’s Galicia region has killed at least 77 people and injured 143 in one of Europe’s worst rail disasters.

The eight-carriage train, operated by state rail company Renfe, came off the rails and caught fire near the city of Santiago de Compostela as it travelled between Madrid and Ferrol.

Key points

  • At least 77 people killed, 143 injured
  • The train came off the rails and caught fire
  • The crash is believed to be an accident, the Spanish government said
  • The incident happened on the eve of the ancient city’s main Christian festival

The president of the Galician regional government, Alberto Nunez Feijoo, described the scene as “Dante-esque”.

A government spokesman said the derailment appeared to be an accident.

The Spanish newspaper El Pais cited sources close to an investigation into the crash by Renfe and state-owned company Adif, which is in charge of the tracks, as saying the train was travelling at over twice the speed limit on a sharp curve.

An official source said no statement would be made regarding the cause of the derailment until the black boxes of the train were examined, but that it was most likely an accident.

Rescue workers have recovered 73 bodies from the wreckage of the train while four other victims died in hospital, a spokesman for the Galicia regional high court said.

Bodies on the ground as smoke billowed from wreckage

Bodies covered in blankets lay next to carriages as smoke billowed from the wreckage a few hundred metres away from the entrance to Santiago de Compostela’s main station.

“It was going so quickly … It seems that on a curve the train started to twist, and the wagons piled up one on top of the other,” passenger Ricardo Montesco told Cadena Ser radio station.

“A lot of people were squashed on the bottom. We tried to squeeze out of the bottom of the wagons to get out and we realised the train was burning … I was in the second wagon and there was fire … I saw corpses.”

Another witness told the radio station she had heard an explosion before seeing the derailed train.

Among the worst rail accidents in Europe in 25 years

The Galicia derailment was one of the worst rail accidents in Europe in 25 years and comes less than a fortnight after six people died when a train came off the tracks and hit the platform at a station in central France.

In Austria in November 2000, 155 people were killed when a fire in a tunnel engulfed a funicular train packed with skiers.

In Montenegro in 2006, as many 46 people were killed and nearly 200 injured when a packed train derailed and plunged into a ravine outside the capital Podgorica.

In Spain in the same year, 41 people were killed when an underground train derailed and overturned in a tunnel just before entering the Jesus metro station in Valencia.” – bc.net.au

==============================

A high-speed train has reportedly derailed in Santiago de Compostela in northern Spain, leaving at least 35 people dead and 50 injured. Media reports suggest the death toll may rise.

(Photo: RT.com/@jacobovieites)

The train, which reportedly had 240 people on board, was en route between Madrid and Ferrol. According to media reports, 13 cars derailed at least four of which caught fire.

(Photo: RT.com/@TrainInfoBe)

Renfe, the company which operates the train, has not given any details on the number of people injured or killed. However, it did confirm that the accident is one of the most serious derailments ever to happen in Spain.

There are reports of bodies scattered around the scene covered in blankets, as emergency services perform their work.

(Photo: RT.com/@AlenPerz)

A woman who was at the scene told a radio station that she had heard a loud explosion, followed immediately by the derailment. Russia Today

Other Reports

Spanish train in deadly derailment

BBC

The train accident close to Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, on 24 July

A train has derailed in north-western Spain, with at least 10 people reported killed.

Spanish railway company Renfe confirmed the train had come off the tracks near the city of Santiago de Compostela in the Galicia region.

A Renfe spokesman told AFP news agency several people had been killed and several more injured.

Spanish news agency Efe quoted police and hospital sources as saying at least 50 people were injured.

Reports said all 13 carriages had left the tracks, and four carriages had overturned completely.

Images showed dozens of emergency workers crowded around ruined carriages.

Passengers were shown lying on the ground being treated.

Renfe said the train carried more than 200 passengers, and was on the express route between Madrid and Ferrol on the Galician coast.

END

Videos

Train Derails In Spain

(Video credit: Den Havoc)

Spain Train Derailment: At Least 10 Killed After Locomotive Derails Near Santiago De Compostela

(Video credit: Trending News!!!)

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