World News

Spain Investigates Train Driver in Deadly Derailment

Spanish investigators are questioning a driver of the train that derailed in northern Spain, killing 80 people in what is described as the nation's worst rail disaster in 40 years.

Reports say the train may have been travelling more than twice the 80 kilometer per hour speed limit at the time of the crash outside Santiago de Compostela. More than 140 people were injured.

Spanish authorities have opened two investigations into the derailment - one by judicial authorities and another by the public works department. Officials say one of the train drivers, who is hospitalized with injuries, is being questioned by police.

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



"For a native from Santiago, like me, believe me this is the saddest saint's day of my entire life. In my name, in the name of the government of Spain, and in the name of all those Spaniards who might feel represented by what I am going to say, I want to transfer my condolences to all families and friends of people who have died, who unfortunately, there are too many of."



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 Wednesday night.

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.

U.S. President Barack Obama said in a statement that he was "shocked and saddened" by news of the crash. He offered "heartfelt gratitude" to the Spanish government and rescue personnel who located and treated the injured.

Several foreigners were among the injured -- including five Americans and at least one Briton -- and the dead included a U.S. citizen.

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

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs