LATEST: 79 now confirmed dead in Spanish train crash

LAST UPDATED: 28 Jul, 2013 @ 22:03
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LATEST: 79 now confirmed dead in Spanish train crash

AN Alvia train has derailed near Santiago de Compostela in north-western Spain, with at least 78 people confirmed dead.

Between 10 and 20 are seriously injured and another 111 were injured but are now out of danger.

A British national was among those injured, the Foreign Office has confirmed. Speaking about the tragic train accident the Foreign Secretary, William Hague said: “I was very saddened to hear of the terrible train accident near Santiago de Compostela in Spain last night. My thoughts are with all those affected and their friends and family.”

Rescuers have finally gained access to one of the carriages after using a crane to remove another that buried it. Ten bodies have been removed from that carriage although it is likely that number will increase.

Train operator Renfe said the train was travelling on the express route from Madrid to the port city of Ferrol on the Galician coast. Sources claim that the train was travelling at 180 kilometers per hour, when the limit on that stretch is 80 kph. Renfe have confirmed the train was running five minutes late.

Renfe and Adif, which is in charge of the tracks, have opened an investigation into the cause of the derailment but no statement will be made until the train’s black boxes are examined.

This is the first fatal accident on a high-speed line in Spain and the most serious rail accident in the last 40 years.

Hospitals in the area have issued urgent appeals for blood donations to help the injured.

The crash happened at 8.41pm local time as the train neared the city of Santiago de Compostela, a popular place of pilgrimage in the northwestern region of Galicia.

State television said eight carriages had derailed and pictures taken at the scene show flames and smoke rising from the front carriage and one carriage that had cleared an embankment and landed near some houses.

Reports state that there were 218 people on board and four crew.

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.

“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 coach and there was fire … I saw corpses.”

The authorities have set up a helpline on 981 551 100.

And Renfe has opened a helpline on 900 101 660 for the families of victims on the derailed train.

Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, will visiting the scene of the accident on Thursday morning.

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9 COMMENTS

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  1. It seems that the reason for the derailment has been the train high speed. In a section where you should be driving about 50 miles per hour, the train was twice that speed.

  2. He estate en Santiago de Compostela ne tres occasions Durante mi estancia en España con mis amigos pensionistas de Sabinillas Manilva Málaga. Este accidente es increíble pues viajes en trenes en España siempre a sido muy agradable sin problemas por muchos anos.
    Me da mucha pena el sufrimiento tan immenso de los pasajeros y las familias, No hay palabras de consuelo. Solo deseos que jamás pase una desgracia así y buscar modo y manera para que esto jamás ocurra.

  3. Terrible tragedy for all those travelling on that train and their families. Condolences to all those that have lost a loved one, and best wishes for the recovery of the injured.

    One hopes that a full investigation will be carried out before laying the blame on anybody or any thing in particular.

  4. Hello ! I am from Dhaka,Bangladesh.
    I am really shocked to watch and listened to the train accident of Santiago de Compostela in north-western Spain. I am pray all to them who are died in Alvia train. May Almighty be peace upon to them !

  5. To me all trains should have a speed limit computer control fitted, there should be transducer situated along the line that tells the computer this stretch is maximum 80kph, and will only allow the train to travel that speed and brake a train down from a higher speed to the speed allowed. And the driver will then once the next transducer allows him to increase speed he can speed up the train. Where there are rail works happening on the line the work crew place a temporary transducer ahead of the work at regulate the trains speed over that section.
    This will avoid further accidents of this kind, but alas would cost money, but will save lives.
    So the railway companies should be made to install this system, and no driver will be able to exceed the recommended speed.

  6. I am Mahfuz From Bangladesh, I am shocked and hurt.I am Sympathetic to all the Victims and their families. We need to remember “lifes Value is more than the time”, So may be only to adjusting some minutes,the Double speed than the recomended speed it causes the incident. We should take lesson. I am showing respect and Praying for the departed soul and for the wounded and their families.

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