Total Pageviews

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Spanish Train Crash Caught on Video

Security-camera footage said to show the deadly train accident in Spain on Wednesday.

Security-camera footage leaked to the public via YouTube captured the moment on Wednesday that a passenger train derailed outside Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain, killing at least 78 people.

While the identity of the person who initially uploaded the video to YouTube remains unknown, Carmen Prieto, a communications officer at the Spanish Development Ministry, said it was recorded by a security camera operated by ADIF, the Spanish rail infrastructure body, which issued a statement saying that the crash took place at 8:41 p.m. local time on Wednesday.

Even before the government confirmed that the footage was authentic, an editor from the Spanish newspaper El País told The Lede that the video was broadcast repeatedly on state television on Thursday without any claim from officials that it was false. The footage shows the train rounding a curve and then careening off the tracks, with some of the cars behind the engine appearing to jack-knife and slam into each other, which is consistent with accounts from passengers who survived the crash.

Graphic video recorded in the immediate aftermath of the accident was uploaded to YouTube by Isidoro Castaño, a resident of the area who said he was attending a local residents’ association meeting near the tracks when he heard what sounded like an explosion.

Video of the immediate aftermath of the train accident uploaded to YouTube by Isidoro Castaño, a resident of the area who rushed to the scene.

Mr. Castaño told El País:

I ran outside and saw a cloud of smoke, and the train on fire. People were screaming ‘Get me out of here!’ There was still no help and it was us neighbors who tried to pull them out of the windows, using the train’s grills as if they were stretchers. There were dead people, injured. Then help arrived, the police, ambulances. They asked us if we would hold a drip and suddenly they said, ‘Don’t let this man fall asleep.’ And I talked to them so that they wouldn’t fall asleep. So that they wouldn’t die.

We asked them where they were going, what their names were … to keep them awake. And they asked: ‘Where is my child?’ There were old people, young people, small children we took from people’s arms. It was an inferno.

A local newspaper, La Voz de Santiago, published video of desperate efforts to rush survivors from the tracks for treatment.

El País also reported that sources from the train company Renfe said the driver of the train, Francisco José Garzón Amo, was not found to have alcohol in his system, but there were concerns that he might have been going too fast into the curve.

According to a translation of the report posted on the newspaper’s English-language section:

The Facebook profile of Garzón was deleted in the early hours of the morning. However, as soon as his identity became known, journalists and members of the public began to peruse it for information. Among Garzón’s posts on the social networking site was a photo, uploaded on March 8, 2012 by Garzón, featuring a speedometer with the needle at 200km/h.

Underneath the photo, some of Garzón’s contacts had left comments. “Dude, you’re going full speed, braaaaake” read one of the posts, to which Garzón answered: “I’m right on the limit, I can’t go any faster or they’ll give me fine.”