(Vatican Radio) The death toll in a passenger train crash in north-western Spain rose to 77 on Thursday after the train jumped the tracks on a curvy stretch just before arriving in the north-western shrine city of Santiago de Compostela.
Seventy three people were found dead at the scene of the accident and four died in hospitals, said Maria Pardo Rios, spokeswoman for the Galicia region's main court. At least 141 people were injured after the eight-carriage train carrying 218 passengers derailed about an hour before sunset Wednesday night.
It was Spain's deadliest train accident since 1972, when a train collided with a bus in south-western Spain, killing 86 people and injuring 112. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy was heading Thursday to the scene of the crash. He was born in Santiago de Compostela, where officials cancelled ceremonies for its annual religious festival that attracts tens of thousands of Christian pilgrims from around the world.
Rescue workers spent the night searching through toppled and smashed cars alongside the tracks at the crash site, and Pardo said it was possible that the death toll could go higher.