VIDEO: Raw footage shows deadly train crash in Spain

Police put the driver of a Spanish train under investigation Thursday after at least 78 people died when it hit a sharp bend at speed and derailed near the northern city of Santiago de Compostela, in one of Europe’s worst rail disasters.

Dramatic video footage from a security camera published on the website of El Pais newspaper showed the train careering into a wall at the side of the track as it came off the rails on the bend Wednesday night.

Police had put the train driver under formal investigation, a spokeswoman for Galicia’s Supreme Court told Reuters, without naming him.

The Galicia government said the train had two drivers, and that one of them has been hospitalized, but it was not immediately clear which driver was under investigation.

Newspaper reports cited witnesses as saying driver Francisco Jose Garzon, who helped rescue victims, had shouted: “I’ve derailed! What do I do?” into a phone.

El Pais said one of the drivers was trapped in his cabin and told the railway station by radio that the train entered the bend at 120 mph.

“We’re only human! We’re only human!” he told the station, the newspaper said, citing sources close to the investigation. “I hope there are no dead, because this will fall on my conscience.”

The disaster happened on the eve of a major religious festival in the ancient northwestern city at 8:41 p.m. Wednesday. Officials said several nationalities were among the 130 injured, of whom 36, including four children, were in serious condition.

In what one local official described as a scene from hell, bodies covered in blankets lay strewn around the train track next to overturned carriages as smoke billowed from the wreckage and bloodied passengers staggered away.

Cranes were still pulling out mangled debris Thursday morning, 12 hours after the crash. Emergency workers had stopped their search for survivors, the court spokeswoman said.

Speeding likely cause

One official source said speeding was a likely cause of the derailment, but the public works minister said it was too early to say exactly what had happened.

El Pais cited sources close to the investigation as saying the train was travelling at more than twice the speed limit for the sharp curve, and Santiago’s mayor said the train was probably going too fast.

The train driver had been sedated, said Juan Jesus Garcia, the secretary general of the Renfe train drivers union, adding he hoped to visit him on Thursday.

He had been operating trains in the area for three years, Garcia said.

Neighbors ran to the site to help emergency workers tend to the wounded. Ana Taboada, a 29-year-old hospital worker, was one of the first on the scene.

“When the dust lifted I saw corpses. I didn’t make it down to the track, because I was helping the passengers that were coming up the embankment,” she told Reuters. “I saw a man trying to break a window with a stone to help those inside get out.”

“We heard a massive noise and we went down the tracks. I helped get a few injured and bodies out of the train. I went into one of the cars but I’d rather not tell you what I saw there,” Ricardo Martinez, a 47-year old baker from Santiago de Compostela, told Reuters.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, who was born in Santiago de Compostela, the capital of Galicia region, visited the site and the main hospital on Thursday. He declared three days of official national mourning for the victims of the disaster.

The Santiago de Compostela train operated by state rail company Renfe, which had 247 people on board, derailed as the city prepared for the renowned festival of Saint James, when thousands of Christian pilgrims from across the world pack the streets.

The city’s tourism board said all festivities, including the traditional High Mass at the centuries-old cathedral, had been cancelled as the city went into mourning following the crash.

Passenger Ricardo Montesco told Cadena Ser radio station the train approached the curve at high speed, twisted and wagons piled up one on top of the other.

“A lot of people were squashed on the bottom. We tried to squeeze out of the bottom of the wagons to get out and we realized the train was burning. … I was in the second wagon and there was fire. … I saw corpses,” he said.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

US military tried, but failed to rescue journalist…

The U.S. military earlier this year tried to rescue journalist James Foley and other American hostages held in Syria ,but failed to find the captives.

National

Fate of captured beluga whales in hands of…

A Georgia aquarium went to court on Wednesday seeking federal permission to bring 18 captured beluga whales to the United States from Russia.

Local

After Eric Garner death, religious leaders meet to…

Interfaith leaders convened with city officials to discuss what the community can do to help dial down heightened tensions after Eric Garner's death.

Local

'Suspicious' Hamilton Heights fire caused by power strip:…

An extension cord overload caused the deadly fire in Hamilton Heights late Monday that killed a 15-year-old girl and injured at least 12 others.

Movies

Review: 'Sin City: A Dame to Kill For'…

The belated sequel "Sin City: A Dame to Kill For" makes one question whether the first one may have been not so hot. Still, Eva Green vamping!

Television

'So You Think You Can Dance' recap: Season…

And then there were six. It was a big night on stage as the Top 6 got to dance with each other, All-star partners and perform a solo routine.

Going Out

5 things to do in NYC this weekend…

FILM Lebowski Fest Aug. 22-23, 8 p.m. Various locations, Manhattan $20-$30, www.lebowskifest.com The Dude abides — for 48 hours to celebrate the 1998 Coen brothers classic.…

Television

'Doctor Who' personality profile: the 4 Doctors

When the time comes for a new Doctor, there's always some anxiety over the big question: Who will he be? The series owes its longevity…

NFL

Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.

NFL

Jalen Saunders still unsure what caused car accident…

Jets rookie wide receiver Jalen Saunders spoke to the media Wednesday for the first time since his car accident, but he didn't say a whole lot.

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL defense (DEF)

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL quarterbacks (QB)

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Wellbeing

Metabolic syndrome could have a sugar link

Scientists in St. Louis may have found another culprit in metabolic syndrome, which can lead to heart disease and type 2 diabetes.  Uric acid is…

Wellbeing

Another way stress hurts your unborn baby

Mothers know to try staying calm during pregnancy, as stress has been linked to behavioral and developmental problems for their babies. But now, a new…