Video of Spanish train derailment released as death toll rises to 80
The moment Spanish passenger train hurtled off the tracks and smashed into a wall, killing at least 80 people, has been captured in a terrifying video.
All eight carriages of the Madrid to Ferrol train derailed near the city of Santiago de Compostela last night, leaving at least 140 people injured.
Dramatic video footage from a security camera shows the train careering into a concrete wall as it came off the rails on the bend, before flipping onto its side and hurtling down the railway line with its terrified passengers on board.
One of the drivers was trapped in his cabin and told the railway station by radio that the train entered the bend at 190 km/h (120 mph), reported newspaper El Pais.
The speed limit on that section of track is 80km/h.
“We’re only human! We’re only human!” he told the station, the newspaper said, citing sources close to the investigation.
“I hope there are no dead, because this will fall on my conscience.”
Police have put an unnamed train driver under formal investigation – the Galicia government said one driver was in hospital.
Newspaper reports cited witnesses as saying driver Francisco Jose Garzon, who helped rescue victims, had shouted: “I’ve derailed! What do I do?” into a phone.
The accident is the worst train accident in 30 years and television footage showed one wagon pointing upwards into the air with one of its ends twisted and disfigured.
Another carriage that had been severed in two could be seen lying on a road near the track.
State-owned train operator Renfe said in a statement that 218 passengers and an unspecified number of staff were on board at the time of the accident.
Renfe said the derailment happened at 8.41 p.m. local time on a high-speed section that was inaugurated two years ago.
After the crash, bodies were seen covered in blankets next to the tracks and rescue workers tried to get trapped people out of the train’s carriages, with smoke billowing from some of the wreckage.
Some passengers were pulled out of broken windows, and one man stood on a carriage lying on its side, using a pickaxe to try to smash through a window.
TVE showed footage of what appeared to be several bodies covered by blankets alongside the tracks next to the damaged train wagons and rescue workers entering toppled carriages through broken windows.
The crash happened about an hour before sunset after the train emerged from a tunnel and derailed on the curve – sending cars flying off the tracks.
As casualties were taken to hospitals in Santiago and two other cities in the region, authorities appealed for people to donate blood.
Neighbors responded to calls from the police to bring blankets and sheets to the scene along with bottles of water.