Spanish Train Derails, Kills 77 in 'Dante-esque Scene'

Scores more are injured in high-speed accident


Posted Jul 24, 2013 4:44 PM CDT | Updated Jul 25, 2013 7:56 AM CDT

(Newser) Another deadly train accident is in the news, this time from Spain. A high-speed train in the country's northwest derailed last night; it was reportedly moving at double the speed limit, and Reuters says the driver is under investigation. Officials say at least 77 people are dead, the New York Times reports. At least 100 more were injured, and 20 are in critical condition, CNN adds. Authorities say the train had about 220 passengers and derailed around 8:40pm local time near the station in the city of Santiago de Compostela, 60 miles south of El Ferrol, the AP notes. An official tells CNN more bodies are expected to be found, and some reports now put the death toll at 78.

The train, which belongs to the state-owned Renfe company, was on its way to El Ferrol from Madrid. It was going 110 miles per hour in a zone where the speed limit is 50, sources told Spain's El Pais paper, per the Times. According to CNN, the train driver told police he entered a curve too quickly, and the country's transport secretary confirmed the "tragedy appears to be linked to the train going too fast." The BBC says all 13 cars came off the tracks, and it quotes one passenger who says they seemed to "pile up on one another" at a curve in the tracks. "There are bodies lying on the railway track," says one government official. "It's a Dante-esque scene."

Emergency personnel respond to the derailment in Spain.   (AP Photo/ El correo Gallego/Antonio Hernandez)
Emergency personnel respond to the scene.   (AP Photo/ El correo Gallego/Antonio Hernandez)
A woman is evacuated by emergency personnel at the scene of a train derailment in Santiago de Compostela, Spain.   (AP Photo/ El correo Gallego/Antonio Hernandez)
Emergency personnel respond to the scene.   (AP Photo/ El correo Gallego/Antonio Hernandez)
Emergency personnel respond to the scene of a train derailment in Santiago de Compostela, Spain.   (AP Photo/ El correo Gallego/Antonio Hernandez)
Emergency personnel respond to the scene of the derailment.   (AP Photo/ El correo Gallego/Antonio Hernandez)
Blankets cover some of the victims.   (AP Photo/ El correo Gallego/Antonio Hernandez)
Graphic locates train derailment accident in Spain.   (Associated Press)
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A Spanish train that derailed was likely speeding.   (YouTube)

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