World News

78 Killed in Spain Train Accident

Investigators are trying to determine what caused a train in northern Spain to jump the tracks, killing 78 people and injuring more than 140 in what has become the nation's deadliest railway disaster in 40 years.

Newly released security camera footage shows the train rounding a bend outside the ancient city of Santiago de Compostela and careering into a concrete wall on the side of the track.

Reports say the train may have been travelling more than twice the 80 kilometer per hour speed limit at the time of the crash. Authorities have opened a formal investigation into one of the train's drivers.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, who was born in Santiago de Compostela, visited the crash site Thursday and the hospital where many of the injured are being treated.

He declared three days of mourning to honor the victims of the crash.

The state-owned railway company Renfe says the train was heading to the coastal town of Ferrol from Madrid when it crashed at 8:41 p.m. local time Wednesday (1841 UTC) just two kilometers outside of Santiago de Compostela.

Recovery teams used cranes Thursday to move the carriages from the scene of the derailment.

The crash occurred on the eve of the city's annual religious festival of St. James, an event attended by thousands of Christian pilgrims from around the the world. Local officials have cancelled plans for the festivities and have declared seven days of morning.

The derailment is Spain's deadliest train crash since 1972 when a train collided with a bus in southern Spain, killing 80 people.

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