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77 dead, 143 injured in Spanish train accident

July 25, 2013, 9:01 UTC+3
The derailed train on the way from Madrid to Ferrol was carrying 218 passengers
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Photo EPA/ITAR-TASS

Photo EPA/ITAR-TASS

MADRID, July 25 (Itar-Tass) - The number of dead as a result of Wednesday’s train accident in Spain has reached 77, reported Reuters quoting a spokeswoman for the Spanish government.

According to her, these are preliminary figures and the actual death toll could rise.

As many as 143 people received injuries of varying severity in the train wreck. The authorities believe the catastrophe was an accident.

The Renfe transport company reported that the train on the way from Madrid to Ferrol in the northwest of the country on Wednesday was carrying 218 passengers. At 20:41 local time the train set derailed at the approach to Santiago de Compostela station, in the administrative centre Galicia. The train cars overturned, hitting one another. According to El Mundo newspaper, the train driver exceeded the speed limit by 140 km per hour.

Head of the government of the autonomous region of Galicia Alberto Núñez Feijóo stated in television interview that “the number of fatalities of the train accident would be apparently 45-47 people.” In addition, he noted that “one of the cars literally concertinaed in the derailment,” and that “rescuers are currently working at the scene, so the death toll could rise.”

Photo EPA/ITAR-TASS

Help to injured

Police has opened a phone line to inform relatives of passengers who were traveling by this train on Wednesday from Madrid to Ferrol. Galician authorities announced a voluntary blood donation for the victims. Those wishing to help may do so in Monte da Condesa City Hospital of Santiago de Compostela, according to Cadena Ser radio station.

The Russian Embassy in Madrid said that nobody has turned to it so far in connection with the train crash in Galicia.

Representatives of rescue services told Itar-Tass by telephone that it is yet premature to specify the nationality of those killed in the crash.

Photo EPA/ITAR-TASS

Crash reasons

The chairman of the autonomous government refrained from commenting on the reasons for the catastrophe. However, the surviving passengers of the train, which was bound from Madrid to Ferrol (a city in north-western tip of Spain), drew attention to the fact that at the approach to the capital of Galicia - Santiago de Compostela - the train jumped the tracks on “a difficult curve.”

Local newspapers reported that the survived train engineer repeated only one phrase: "The train ran off the track. I couldn't do anything". The second engineer also came to no harm. He dismissed the possibility of a terror atack. Earlier, a representative of the Internal Affairs Ministry expressed the same point of view to Spain's news agency EFE.

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