In Galicia, north-western Spain, a train has derailed and has now killed 78 people of its 218 passengers and injuring more than 100, officials of the Galicia region have claimed.
All of the eight carriages that were travelling from Madrid to Ferrol came off the track near the city Santiago de Compostela. It is alleged that the train was travelling more than twice the speed limit around the curve it derailed.
Thousands had been expected to attend the Galicia Day celebrations which have now been cancelled. Two of the town halls, Cersia and San Lazaro are supposedly being fitted out for the families of the victims.
The officials have not commented however but analysts have said that it is the worst train accident in Spain in 40 years.
The country’s last rail disaster was in 1972 when 77 people were killed in a derailment in Andalusia.
This route was an express route from Madrid to the ship building city of Ferrol of the Galician coast.
Renfe has stated that they and the operating company Adif are collaborating with an appointed judge to investigate the causes of the accident.
An unnamed official has claimed that they are moving away from the hypothesis of sabotage or attack. However, no statement will be made until a proper investigation has been conducted.
Rescue workers continue to search the wreckage.
73 bodies were recovered on the accident site whilst four died in hospital said a spokeswoman for Galicia’s Supreme Court. In Spain, judges are responsible for registering deaths.
It is also still unclear how many Renfe employees were on board the train.
More than 140 passengers have been receiving treatment from minor to more serious a health official has claimed. Also, residents have flooded the area in response to an appeal for blood donations.
320 Spanish police officers have been deployed to help the rescue operation as one witness described the train carriages being “piled on top of one another”.
Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, who was born in Santiago de Compostela, is also due to visit the scene had this to say: “I want to express my affection and solidarity with the victims of the terrible train accident in Santiago.”