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At least 45 killed as train derails in northern Spain
25 July 2013 @ 01:24

Train derails outside city of Santiago de Compostela, killing at least 45 and injuring 70 

At least 45 people were killed and 70 injured when a train derailed on the outskirts of the northern Spanish city of Santiago de Compostela on Wednesday in one of Europe's worst rail disasters.

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 government said it was working on the hypothesis the derailment was an accident – though the scene will stir memories of 2004's Madrid train bombing, carried out by Islamists, that killed 191 people.

The train operated by state rail company Renfe with 247 people on board derailed on the eve of the ancient city's main festival when thousands of Christian pilgrims travel in to pack the streets.

"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," he added.

One witness near the scene told the radio station she heard an explosion before seeing the derailed train.

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 head of the surrounding Galicia region, Alberto Nunez Feijoo, said at least 45 people were killed and round 70 injured, more than 20 of them seriously.

 

Read more at  http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jul/24/spain-train-crash



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