High-Speed Train Derails in Spain, Killing 78, Injuring Many More
A high-speed train in northwestern Spain derailed Wednesday night, killing 78 passengers and injuring at least 140 more, including five Americans.
The train veered off the tracks and smashed into a concrete wall because it did not come close to slowing down enough along a tight curve while approaching the train station in the city of Santiago de Compostela, the capital of Galicia. Video footage shows the front car coming off the rails and falling onto its side while numerous cars behind it detach and fly off toward the wall.
The incident occurred at 8:41 p.m. as the train was finishing a six-hour trip from Madrid to the popular tourist destination. Investigations are under way, and the train's driver is being questioned by police.
Julio Gomez-Pomar, president of Renfe, the state Railway, told a local radio station that the train had been inspected that morning. "The train did not have an operating problem," he said. "The maintenance and control record of the train was perfect."