Spain: At Least 69 Dead in Train Accident
At least 69 people have been confirmed dead as a result of a train derailment in Galicia in northwestern Spain on Wednesday evening.
Reports from Spain indicate that 65 bodies were found at the scene of the accident, and four people died in hospital. 143 people were reported injured.
The Renfe railway company earlier said there were "several dead and injured" in the accident near the city of Santiago de Compostela, but could not immediately give a precise toll.
The train, carrying 238 passengers, started in Madrid and was bound for the northwestern town of Ferrol as the Galicia region, reported AFP.
"It derailed near the station of Santiago de Compostela but we don't yet know why," Renfe said.
Public television TVE repeated appeals from area hospitals for blood donations to help the injured.
A witness told radio Cadena that carriages overturned several times in a bend and came to a halt piled up on each other.
Television footage showed that four carriages had overturned and were lying on the tracks, at least one of them ripped apart with smoke billowing from the train, reported AFP.
The accident happened around 9:00 p.m. local time "for unknown reasons", said a Renfe spokesman.
First pictures showed parts of the locomotive's roof in flames.
The crash came less than two weeks after a passenger train derailed just south of Paris, killing six people and injuring 30 more.
French rail operator SNCF said that derailment may have been caused by a connecting bar that came loose.