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Train crashes in Spain July 25, 2013: death toll rises to 78

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SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA: The number of people dead from a recent train derailment in northwest Spain has risen to 78, with more than 178 people having been injured.

The deadly accident, regarded as one of the worst in the history of Spain’s rail network, happened at 8:42 pm local time (1842 GMT) on Wednesday when the train hurtled off the tracks on a bend about three kilometers (two miles) from Santiago de Compostela station in the northwestern region of Galicia.

The train was transporting 218 passengers and four crewmembers from Madrid to the ship-building city of Ferrol on the Galician coast as the Galicia region was preparing celebrations in honor of Saint James.

Four carriages of the train overturned in the smash at the time of the accident and wagons piled into each other and folded up.

A spokesman for the Galicia high court said on Thursday that 73 bodies had been recovered from the site of the wreckage and four more victims had lost their lives later in hospital. A total of 143 people also suffered various injuries.

According to media reports, the train may have derailed due to high speed. However, a spokesman for state railway company, Renfe, said it was too soon to comment on the cause of the accident.

“There is an investigation underway and we have to wait. We will know what the speed is very soon when we consult the train’s black box,” a Renfe spokesman said.

Alberto Nunez Feijoo, the president of the regional government also said, “There are bodies laying on the railway track. It’s a Dante-esque scene.”

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, who was born in Santiago de Compostela, will visit the scene of the accident on Thursday.

“I want to express my affection and solidarity with the victims of the terrible train accident in Santiago,” Rajoy said in a message posted on Twitter.

Concerts and firework displays, which had been planned as part of the festivities in Santiago de Compostela, have now been canceled.

Asad Haroon
A netpreneur, blogger and above all; A Human :) Asad tweets from @aghaasadharoon and can also be approached on Google+

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