Jul 25, 2013
By Jane Brown
It is being called one of Spain’s worst rail accidents in decades. At least 78 people have been killed after a passenger train derailed on a curvy stetch of track in northwestern Spain. At least 140 people were injured. BBC’s Susana Mendonca has spent time at the scene and says, “emergency crews searched for survivors, but for many it was too late. Amid the destruction, there were bodies covered with blankets.” She goes on to explain that “eyewitnesses described hearing a bang before the crash happened.”
Investigators are working to figure out why the train jumped the tracks. A spokesman for Spain’s Interior Minister says terrorism has been ruled out, though the devastation will stir memories of a train bombing in Madrid in 2004 carried out by Islamist extremists, that killed 191 people. One passenger says the train was going very quickly and the train started to twist going around the curve.
The derailment happened on the eve of a major Christian festival, which has been cancelled because of the disaster.