Pattaya Daily News

25 July 2013 :: 10:07:04 am 76571

At Least 60 People Dead After Train Derails In Spain

At least 60 people dead after train derails in Spain, leaving dozens of passengers crushed under smashed carriages
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SPAIN – July 25,2013 [Pattaya Daily News]; At least 60 people were killed last night when an express train derailed in northern Spain.

Other passengers were still trapped in the wreckage and there were fears that the death toll could rise as rescue teams continued their grim task of trying to free survivors hours after the accident.

Many of those on board were thought to be travelling to a major religious festival in the nearby city of Santiago de Compostela, site of a Catholic pilgrimage.

Damaged carriages lay on their sides amid billowing smoke and at least 131 people were said to be injured.

Spain’s state television channel, RTV1, said the death toll stood at 56, and 70 passengers were in critical condition.

There were 247 passengers on the high-speed train. It was the first fatal accident on Spain’s new High Velocity network.

Early speculation about the cause of the crash centred on excessive speed on a curve.

Those at the scene said bodies covered in sheets lay beside the track as casualties were taken by ambulance to a number of hospitals in the city.

All 13 coaches were derailed and several were almost totally destroyed. Fire broke out in at least one coach and in the engine.

The train was en route from Madrid to the naval port city of Ferrol, in the Galicia region. The accident happened at about 8.40pm local time – 7.40pm in the UK – on a bend less than two miles from a scheduled stop in Santiago.

The train was said to be filled with people on the way to the city’s annual St James the Apostle Festival, which was to have begun last night with a massive fireworks display.

The annual ceremony was cancelled as soon as the gravity of the accident became apparent. A radio reporter on the scene said the whole train had derailed.

Passenger Ricardo Montesco said: ‘It was going so quickly . . . it seems that on a curve the train started to twist, and the carriages 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 carriages to get out and we realised the train was burning.

‘I was in the second carriage and there was fire . . . I saw corpses.’

A woman hanging out washing at her home near the track, who gave her name only as Mari, said: ‘There was a terrific explosion and then a torpedo of dust and noise. I just ran.’

Prime minister Mariano Rajoy, who comes from the Galicia region, was planning to set out for Santiago. The head of the Galicia region, Alberto Nunez Feijoo, said it was too early to say what had caused the derailment.

As casualties were taken to hospitals in Santiago and two other cities in the region, authorities appealed for people to donate blood.

Neighbours responded to calls from the police to bring blankets and sheets to the scene along with bottles of water. As darkness fell, generators and emergency lighting were brought in to help the rescue teams.

The derailment is one of the deadliest train crashes in Europe in the past 25 years.
In November 2000, a train packed with skiers caught fire in a tunnel in Austria, killing 155 people.

News from : Dailymail

Photo : Internet   Category : World News

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