The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

July 25, 2013

Spanish train crash caught on video


Associated Press

SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA, Spain — A security camera has captured the moment when a Spanish 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.

The train’s first carriage behind the locomotive appears to come off the tracks first, slamming the tail of the locomotive into a concrete wall.

All the carriages can be seen starting to come off the tracks as the locomotive hurtles toward the camera position.

The security camera footage appears to stop at the moment that the engine crashes into it.

 



The official death toll from Wednesday night’s crash near this Christian festival city in northwest Spain rose to 78 in Spain’s deadliest wreck in four decades.

Hospital officials said 141 people were injured, and 36 remained in critical condition Thursday, among them four children.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, who was born in Santiago de Compostela, toured the crash scene alongside rescue workers and went to a nearby hospital to visit some of the wounded and their families.

“For a native of Santiago, like me, this is the saddest day,” Rajoy said. He said judicial authorities and the Public Works Ministry had launched parallel investigations into what caused the crash.

Eyewitness accounts backed by security-camera footage of the moment of disaster suggested that the eight-carriage train carrying 218 passengers was going too fast as it tried to turn left underneath a road bridge. The speed limit on that section of track is 50 miles per hour, Spanish officials said.

The footage, which the Spanish railway authority Adif said probably came from one of its cameras, shows the train carriages start to buckle soon into the turn, with the first and second passenger carriages leaving the tracks first. The engine itself quickly follows, violently tipping on to its right side as it crashes into a concrete security wall and bulldozes its way along the ground.

In the background, all the rear carriages can be seen starting to decouple and come off the tracks. The picture goes blank as the engine appears to crash directly into the camera.

“I saw the train coming out of the bend at great speed and then there was a big noise,” one eyewitness, Consuelo Domingues, told The Associated Press. “... Then everybody tried to get out of the train.”