Relaymedia

Spain Train Derailment Video: At Least 80 Dead, Video Captures High-Speed Train

( [email protected] ) Jul 25, 2013 09:02 AM EDT


A passenger train traveling through the Galicia region in northwestern Spain derailed Wednesday night on a curvy stretch of track, killing at least 80 people and injuring 140 in the country's worst rail accident in decades.

A security camera has captured the moment when the train veers off the track and crashes into a wall at high speed. The footage posted Thursday on YouTube shows the train rounding a bend, making a turn to the left underneath a road overpass.

An Associated Press estimate of the train's speed at the moment of impact using the time stamp of the video and the estimated distance between two pylons gives a range of 89-119 mph. Another estimate calculated on the basis of the typical distance between railroad ties gives a range of 96-112 mph.

The eight-car train, which left Madrid at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, was traveling to Spain’s northwestern coast when it derailed at 8:41 p.m., according to the Spanish train company, Renfe, which said its technicians were cooperating with the rescue and investigation operations.

The train was carrying 226 people, including 222 passengers and four crew members. Spanish media said the train had two drivers aboard and both survived.

The U.S. State Department said one American citizen was killed in the crash and five others were injured. It provided no other details.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, a native of Santiago de Compostela, toured the crash scene alongside rescue workers and went to a nearby hospital to visit those wounded and their families.

"For a native of Santiago, like me, this is the saddest day," said Rajoy, who declared Spain would observe a three-day period of mourning. He said judicial authorities and the Public Works Ministry had launched parallel investigations into what caused the crash.

Pope Francis, who is on a visit to Brazil for World Youth Day, sent a telegram to the bishop of Santiago de Compostela, Julian Barrio Barrio, offering his support and prayers for all those affected by the tragedy.

The accident was Spain’s worst train crash since 1972, when 86 people were killed in the southwest of the country. In recent years, Spain has invested heavily in its rail system creating a modern network.