A train derailed in Spain on Wednesday, leaving at least 45 people dead and more than 100 injured. The incident happened near the city of Santiago de Compostela, a few hundred meters away from the city’s main station.
The high-speed passenger train was traveling from Madrid to Ferrol when it left the tracks going around a curve. The derailment forced four of the 13 train cars to overturn.
Images from the scene of the derailment showed bodies covered in sheets strewn along the tracks, reports BBC. One of the train cars appeared to be ripped apart.
Passenter Ricardo Montesco spoke with a local radio station about the Spain train derailment. Reuters notes that he recalled:
“I was going so quickly… It seems that on a curve the train started to twist, and the wagons piled up one on top of the other. A lot of people were squashed on the bottom.”
He added, “We tried to squeeze out of the bottom of the wagons to get out and we realized the train was burning… I was in the second wagon and there was fire… I saw corpses.”
The train accident is the worst railroad disaster for Spain in at least 40 years. Alberto Nunez Feijoo, leader of the regional government, confirmed that the death toll from the train derailment is at least 45. However, he stated it was too early to determine what may have caused the accident.
Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy called an emergency meeting on Wednesday and announced he will visit the scene of the derailment on Thursday. He also released a statement about the accident via Twitter, writing, “I want to express my affection and solidarity with the victims of the terrible train accident in Santiago.”
The train derailment happened the day before a huge local festival. It is likely that many people no board the train were heading to the city to celebrate. However, festivities planned for Thursday have been canceled. Renfe, a railway firm, confirmed the train had at least 218 passengers on board when it derailed two miles from the station.
Francisco Camino, a local journalist, was in shock at the sight of the train derailment. He explained, “This is a tiny place and nothing happens here, nothing important or tragic.”
An investigation into what caused the Spain train derailment is expected to begin soon.
[Image via ShutterStock]