Spain train crash: What happened

  • 25 July 2013
  • From the section Europe

Dozens have been killed and many more injured in a passenger train derailment in north-western Spain. It is the country's worst train accident for 40 years.

The Alvia 730 series train left the tracks on a bend about 3-4km (2-2.5 miles) from Santiago de Compostela station at 20:41 local time (18:41 GMT) on Wednesday, according to railway firm Renfe.

It was on the express route between Madrid and the ship-building city of Ferrol on the Galician coast. The line to Santiago de Compostela has stretches of high speed track, where trains reach up to 220km/h (136.7mph), before having to slow to 80km/h before the section where the accident took place.

According to eyewitnesses and media reports, the first four carriages derailed on the bend, causing the middle and rear carriages to either flip into the air or crash into those in front.

Spanish newspaper El Pais reported how the driver said he was doing 190km/h (118mph) as he took the bend - Curva de A Grandeira - where the speed limit is just 80km/h. Officials say one of the train's drivers is now under formal investigation and investigations into what caused the crash have begun.