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Santiago de Compostela train tragedy: at least 77 dead

By on Thursday, 25 July 2013

Festivities have been cancelled after the tragedy (AP Photo)

Festivities have been cancelled after the tragedy (AP Photo)

At least 77 people have been killed in a train crash near the holy city city of Santiago de Compostela on the eve of the feast of St James.

The high-speed train was traveling from Madrid to Ferrol, in Galicia, at 8.40pm last local time, when it came off the rails around a curve, apparently at twice the recommended speed.

It is the worst railway crash in Spain in at least 40 years, with more than 100 passengers also injured, 20 seriously. Although passengers heard a loud bang beforehand, government spokesman have said that all signs point it to being an accident.

Alberto Núñez Feijóo, the leader of the Galicia region, described it as a scene out of Dante.

The tragedy occured as Catholic pilgrims converged on Santiago de Compostela to celebrate the feast day of St James the Greater, the disciple of Jesus. Thousands will gather to visit the remains of the saint at the end of the the El Camino de Santiago pilgrimage walk.

St James’s day festivities planned in Santiago de Compostela have been cancelled.

  • Darren

    What an absolute tragedy. May all those who have lost their lives rest in peace, and may The Lord bless and comfort those injured and grieving at this sad time.

  • Laurie12345

    I took an overnight train from Madrid to Santiago de Compostela in the old days – it took a good 12 hours. When I arrived I did not feel, like the Native Americans, I had to take time to let my Spirit catch up, which was important on a Christian pilgrimage.
    Outside of business or military use, what is the purpose of such vast speed, whether by train or car? On the motorway near the speed limit, I am overtaken by just about everyone; I have calculated that over the distance of a typical journey, doing 85 mph on a motorway as opposed to 70 mph saves the driver, if not caught in traffic somewhere down the line, about 15 minutes. Now what does the driver do with that 15 minutes? Waste it watching television no doubt. Extraordinary that this should occur on the eve of the Feast Day of Saint James himself.

  • Julian Lord

    I hope and pray that our Pope will be returning to Rome after WYD 2013 via
    Compostela, where the Faithful are in need of his prayers and blessings.

    I pray for those Santiago pilgrims deceased, wounded, or surviving this tragedy, and for their families and friends and for all fellow Pilgrims in Santiago on this Feast Day and in all of this year, whether on foot, bicycle, horse, donkey, wheelchair, bus, train, aeroplane, ship, or any other means, that the Apostle will be zealous in his support for their pilgrimage, their Faith, and their Prayer.

    I pray for Spain, that she may take as warning and reminder that her Ancient Catholic Religion is in the very beating of her heart.

    And God Bless those pilgrim martyrs that have been borne straight into Heaven for having ended their lives on such a holy endeavour as this Pilgrimage towards the Apostle and to his Lord Christ on the very feast day of Saint James’ martyrdom for the Faith and the Truth and the Messiah.