July 24, 2013

Just released raw footage of the high-speed train derailment in Spain as it happened.

Update 4:40am: At least 77 deaths have been confirmed by El Pais.


A high-speed passenger train that was reportedly traveling at more than double the speed limit derailed just a few miles from a station in northwest Spain on Wednesday evening, with at least 56 of those on board feared dead, according to local news reports.

At least one car had been torn open and was jammed on top of another. What appeared to be bodies were covered in blankets by the side of the tracks.

The train, carrying 218 passengers and four crew members, was traveling between Madrid and Ferrol when it derailed at 8:41 p.m. local time, the Spanish national train company Renfe said in a statement. It was four miles from the station in the city of Santiago de Compostela.

Citing unidentified sources, the Web site of the Spanish newspaper El País reported that the train had been traveling at 110 miles per hour, but that speed limit for the stretch of track where the derailment occurred was 50. The force of the derailment was such that one car leapt 15 feet in the air and 45 feet from the tracks, the newspaper said.

Pictures from the scene showed the train lying zigzagged on its side across the tracks. At least one car had been torn open and was jammed on top of another. What appeared to be bodies were covered in makeshift blankets by the side of the tracks as emergency workers struggled to pull the dead and injured from the train’s windows as night fell.

“The road is full of cadavers,” a radio reporter, Xaime López, said on the station Cadena Ser. “It’s striking: you almost can’t even count them.”

Casualty estimates were not immediately released, but El País, citing local officials, said at least 56 people had died and dozens more were wounded. The derailment occurred on the eve of an annual religious and cultural festival in Santiago de Compostela that attracts hordes of visitors and pilgrims, according to the region’s tourist board.

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