77 die in Spain train crash
A TRAIN hurtled off the tracks in north-western Spain, killing at least 77 passengers and injuring more than 140, an official said yesterday, with the media suggesting that the tragedy could be due to speeding.
Four carriages overturned in the crash. The wagons were piled into each other and folded up like an accordion. One was ripped apart by the force of the crash, one of its ends pushed up into the air.
Smoke billowed from the wreckage as bodies were laid out under blankets along the tracks.
The accident happened at 8.42pm on Wednesday, as the train carrying 218 passengers and four staff was about to enter Santiago de Compostela station in the north-western region of Galicia.
Rescue workers recovered 73 bodies from the train wreckage, and four more victims died later in hospital, said a spokesman for the Galicia high court.
Several witnesses spoke of a loud explosion.
"I was at home and I heard something like a clap of thunder. It was very loud and there was lots of smoke," said 62-year-old Maria Teresa Ramos, who lived just metres from where the accident happened.
"It's a disaster, people are crying out. Nobody has ever seen anything like this," she said.