On Wednesday in Spain, a passenger train carrying 247 people between the capital of Madrid and the northern Spanish city of Ferrol, crashed killing at least 78 and leaving more than 140 injured. It is the most devastating train accident in recent Spanish history. At the time of the accident, it has been reported that the train was traveling at 118 mph, twice the speed limit of the curve it was passing.
A video captured the violent crash. It shows the moment first cars are derailed, as the train comes around the curve at high speed.
First responders describe the scene as pure horror.
"I'm coming from hell, I couldn't tell you if the engine was on fire, or one of the carriages or what ..." said Jaime Tizon, one of the first firefighters on scene.
"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 realised the train was burning ... I was in the second wagon and there was fire. I saw corpses," another witness says.
People were using any means necessary to access those injured and trapped inside the train. Spanish television reports that responders were seen using rocks and pickaxes to break through the windows. In the immediate aftermath, bodies were lined up adjacent to the tracks, covered by blankets.
A makeshift morgue was set up at the local in door Sports Arena in Santiago de Compostela, where the train crashed.
Rescue workers worked through the night, searching the mangled wreckage for survivors. At dawn, cranes came in to begin removing the wreckage and personal affects of the passengers. A full investigation has been launched by the Public Works Ministry and judicial authorities. Both conductors of the train survived. According to the president of railway firm Renfe, Julio Gomez Pomar, the train had no mechanical issues.
"The train had passed an inspection that same morning. Those trains are inspected every 7,500km ... Its maintenance record was perfect."
This marks the third deadly train accident in July. On July 6th, a massive train carrying crude oil crashed in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, killing 47 people. On the 12th, a passenger train crashed near Paris, killing 4 and leaving over 200 injured.
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has declared three national days of mourning.