Four killed and 50 left injured after train derails in Galicia

The Portuguese convoy came off the rails near a station after the first carriage left the tracks. One US and one UK citizen among the passengers

Video images of the train shortly after it derailed on Friday morning.El País Vídeo / ANTONIO CASTAÑO (reuters_live)

At least four people are dead after a train derailed near the station of O Porriño, in northwestern Spain, on Friday morning.

There were 65 people on board the Portuguese train, which was covering the Vigo-Porto route.

The train driver, a Portuguese national, and the conductor, a Spaniard from Vigo, are among the dead.

Emergency officials said that 47 passengers sustained minor injuries, seven were in serious condition, and one more person was in critical condition.

Galician premier Alberto Núñez Feijóo traveled to the crash site, where he said that according to firefighters “there could be a fifth [fatality] that has not yet been found.”

Feijóo confirmed that the list of passengers includes one US and one UK citizen. Some of the other passengers hail from Korea, Italy and various Latin American nations.

Train hit a bridge

The accident took place at around 9.25am, after the first car went off the tracks some 200 meters before pulling into the station. The other carriages sustained minor damage.

Preliminary reports suggest that the train derailed as it was coming round a bend; it hit a bridge and stopped after crashing into a steel tower structure. 

Some passengers said the train was going quite fast and suddenly put on the brakes, causing luggage to fall out of overhead compartments.

O Porriño Mayor Eva García de la Torre told SER radio station that work was carried out recently in the area to ensure that trains "going right through the middle of town" would slow down.

The train is owned by Comboios Portugal, the Portuguese national rail service. Renfe and Comboios Portugal have been jointly operating the Vigo-Porto service since 2011.

An investigation is underway to determine the cause of the crash, Adif said.

Regional premier Alberto Núñez Feijóo, who is up for re-election on September 25, has cancelled a campaign rally scheduled for Friday. Other politicians have placed their own campaiging on hold following the accident.

Spaniards still have fresh memories of the train accident that killed 79 people and injured 140 on a curve near Santiago de Compostela, also in Galicia, on July 24, 2013.

English version by Susana Urra.

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