Train derails in Spain, dozens feared dead


A passenger train derailed in northwestern Spain on Wednesday night, killing at least 35 people and leaving hundreds injured, officials said.

Alberto Nunez Feijoo, president of the region of Galicia, said at least 35 people aboard the train had been killed, and state-owned train operator Renfe said in a statement that 218 passengers and an unspecified number of staff had been on board at the time of the accident.

State-owned Renfe company, which owns the train, did not give an estimate of the numbers of dead or injured.

Feast day festivities planned in the city of Santiago de Compostela were cancelled, a town hall spokeswoman told Spanish National television TVE.

Several bodies covered by blankets could be seen alongside the tracks next to the damaged train wagons.

The accident along a high-speed stretch of track near the train station in Santiago de Compostela, 95 kilometres (60 miles) south of El Ferrol, where the train was headed from Madrid.

Rescue workers were seen in the television images caring for people still inside some of the wagons.

Television footage also showed one wagon pointing upwards into the air with one of its ends twisted and disfigured.

Another carriage had left the track altogether and could be seen resting on a nearby road.

A photographer at the scene told The Associated Press that he spoke to two injured train passengers who said they felt a strong vibration before the derailing.

Officials at the Interior Ministry and the Adif rail infrastructure authority did not immediately answer telephone calls or return messages seeking comment.

(Copyright 2013 Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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