78 Passenger Killed after Spanish High Speed Train Derails
78 people have been killed and over 140 injured after a passenger train derailed and caught fire at 8:41pm local time on Wednesday in the north-west Spanish region of Galicia.
The high-speed train operated by state rail company Renfe, carrying 247 passengers, derailed as it approached a station outside the city of Santiago de Compostela.
The train was travelling on the express route between Madrid and the city of Ferrol on the Galician coast.
All the carriages on the eight-car train derailed, killing 74 people at the scene with a further four dying in hospital.
According to reports, one carriage was thrown 5m from the track and landed on the other side of a retaining wall, while the other rail cars were completely destroyed.
The cause of the accident is still unclear but reports suggest the train may have been travelling at more than twice the speed limit around a curve, causing it to derail and overturn.
The incident occurred on the eve of the city of Santiago de Compostela’s main festival of Saint James, when thousands of Christian pilgrims travel to the city.
According to the city’s tourism board, all feast day festivities planned in the city of Santiago de Compostela have been cancelled as a result of the crash.