Originally published on July 25, 2013
At least 78 people were killed and more than 140 were injured when a train derailed on just outside the northern city of Santiago de Compostela in Spain on Wednesday night.
According to Reuters, "Bodies covered in blankets lay next to the overturned carriages as smoke billowed from the wreckage. Firemen clambered over the twisted metal trying to get survivors out of the windows."
The train operated by state rail company Renfe was traveling from Madrid to Ferrol, passing through Santiago de Compostela. Some 248 people were on board when it derailed on the eve of the ancient city's main festival, when thousands of Christian pilgrims travel in to pack the streets.
According to local reports, the driver admitted the train was travelling at 190 kilometres per hour on a sharp turn where the speed limit was 80 kilometres per hour.
According to Reuters, "One official source said speeding was a likely cause of the derailment, [...] but the public works minister said it was too early to draw conclusions on what had happened."
"'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 realized the train was burning ... I was in the second wagon and there was fire ... I saw corpses,' he added.
"Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, who was born in Santiago de Compostela, held an emergency meeting with his ministers. He would visit the site on Thursday morning, his spokeswoman added."
"The crash, which comes just two weeks after a train derailment in France that killed six people, is considered to be one of Europe's worst rail disasters."
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