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Train Crash Kills 80 in Spain

Posted at: 07/25/2013 10:30 AM
Updated at: 07/25/2013 6:17 PM

SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA, Spain (AP) - Excessive speed may have been the cause of Wednesday's train derailment in Spain that left 80 people dead.

A passenger tells a radio station that the train "traveled very fast" just before it derailed, and the cars flipped upside down, on their sides and into the air. A witness says he saw the train "coming out of the bend at great speed."

And an analysis of video of the crash indicates that the train may have been traveling at twice the speed limit for that stretch of track. Officials say the speed limit there is 50 miles an hour. But an estimate of the train's speed at the moment of impact -- using the frame rate of the video and the estimated distance between two pylons -- is well above the limit.

The video shows the train carriages starting to buckle soon into the turn, with the first and second passenger cars leaving the tracks first. The engine itself quickly follows, violently tipping to its right side as it crashes into a concrete wall and bulldozes its way along the ground.

Officials say 95 people are still hospitalized, including 36 in critical condition.

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