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Amateur video captures despair, confusion after Spain train crash

Thursday, July 25, 2013 - 01:11

July 25 - ''My God, my God, how awful!'' wails Isidoro Castano as he captures the aftermath of a train crash that killed at least 80 people in Spain. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Witnesses to one of Europe's worst rail crashes on Thursday described harrowing scenes from hell after a speeding train jumped off the tracks and slammed into a wall in north-western Spain. "My God, my God, how awful!" wails local resident Isidoro Castano, as he records the scene immediately after the crash in a home video published on the website of El Pais newspaper. Castano, from the district of Angrois on the outskirts of Santiago, was one of the first on the scene, where bodies were strewn next to the track and flames and smoke billowed from carriages. "I was talking to them so they wouldn't sleep, so they wouldn't die. It was hell," he told the newspaper. The impact was so powerful that part of the train flew over a high wall into an area which was due to be used to celebrate the festival of St. James, one of Jesus's 12 disciples, whose remains are said to rest in Santiago's centuries-old cathedral. Many of those on the train were headed to Santiago to celebrate the festival. City authorities canceled all festivities as the city went into mourning. Castano's shaky footage shows a carriage sliced open like a can and its seats spewed on the ground several meters away. The train driver was under formal police investigation, a spokeswoman for Galicia's Supreme Court told Reuters, without naming him. The train had two drivers and one was in hospital, the Galicia government said. It was not immediately clear which driver was under investigation or in hospital. The train, operated by state-owned company Renfe, was built by Bombardier and Talgo and was around five years old. It had almost the maximum number of passengers. Investigators were trying to urgently establish why the train was going so fast and why failsafe security devices to keep speed within permitted limits had not worked. Spain's rail safety record is better than the European average, ranking 18th out of 27 countries in terms of railway deaths per kilometers traveled, the European Railway Agency said. There were 218 train accidents in Spain between 2008-2011, well below the European Union average of 426 for the same period, the agency said.

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Amateur video captures despair, confusion after Spain train crash

Thursday, July 25, 2013 - 01:11