Thursday, 25 July 2013

VIDEO: High Speed Train Derails in Spain killing 80 people

A Spanish train derailed and smashed into a security wall as it rounded a bend was going so fast that carriages tumbled off the tracks like dominos, killing 80 people, according to eyewitness accounts and video footage obtained Thursday.

The crash was caused by excessive speed, an official source with knowledge of the accident investigation told Reuters. However, the public works minister has said it's too early to say exactly what happened.

Press 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 gives a range of 144-192 km/h. Another estimate calculated on the basis of the typical distance between railroad ties gives a range of 156-182 km/h.

The video footage, which the Spanish railway authority Adif said probably came from one of its cameras, shows the train carriages start to buckle soon into the turn.

Murray Hughes, consultant editor of Railway Gazette International, said it appeared that a diesel-powered unit behind the lead locomotive was the first to derail. The front engine itself quickly followed, violently tipping on to its right side as it crashes into a concrete security wall and bulldozes along the ground.

In the background, all the rear carriages can be seen starting to decouple and come off the tracks. The picture goes blank as the engine appears to crash directly into the camera.

After impact, witnesses said a fire which engulfed passengers trapped in at least one carriage most likely from the diesel fuel carried in the locomotive units.

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