Deadly train crash near O Porrino in north-west Spain

Crashed train at O Porrino, 9 Sep 16 Image copyright EPA
Image caption The mangled front coach of the Portuguese train near O Porrino station

At least four people have been killed and 47 hurt in a train derailment near O Porrino in north-western Spain.

About 60 passengers were on the Portuguese train when it derailed at 09:30 (07:30 GMT) just outside the station.

Those killed were the Portuguese driver and Spanish conductor, a US tourist and another Spaniard.

O Porrino is located south of the Galician city of Vigo, near the border with Portugal.

In July 2013 Spain suffered one of its worst train crashes in the same region, when a high-speed train derailed near Santiago de Compostela, killing 79 people and injuring some 170. The driver failed to brake in time before a bend.

In Friday's crash the train apparently hit part of a bridge, El Pais newspaper reported. A photo showed that the train had also struck a signalling tower next to the line.

Authorities have opened an investigation and retrieved the train's data recorder for analysis. Emergency workers fear there may be another body hidden in the wreckage.

The train operator is Comboios de Portugal and it was travelling on the Vigo-Porto route.

'Covered in blood'

The front portion of the train was badly mangled, but the last two carriages were only lightly affected and Spanish media report that many people were able to walk off the damaged train.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption The train's driver and conductor were among the dead
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Several foreign nationals were reportedly on board

Railway and track management company Adif said the accident had happened just before the train arrived in the station.

"The train braked suddenly and suitcases fell on top of us," a passenger told Reuters news agency. "My mother smashed into my father and hurt him, my mum's neck really hurts... When we came out of the carriage we saw people covered in blood. It was really horrible."

A passenger in a video posted by local daily La Voz de Galicia said the train had suddenly started swaying from one side to the other.

"It wouldn't stop," she said. "I was sitting down and I fell to the ground. And then the train stopped. It was that quick."

At least three people were killed on the spot, while the fourth died in hospital.

Cause unclear

Jesus Vazquez Almuina, health representative in the regional government, was quoted as saying there were many nationalities on board.

"There were a lot of Spaniards and Portuguese obviously, but also Americans, Germans, people from Chile, Argentina... people who were doing the Road to Santiago [pilgrimage] and were continuing their trip to Porto," he said, according to AFP news agency.

Helicopters, ambulances and fire engines were speedily deployed to the scene.

The reason for the derailment has yet to be determined. Officials say it took place on a "very straight line" in an area of good visibility.

O Porrino Mayor Eva Garcia de la Torre told told local radio the train involved in the crash looked old.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption Rear parts of the train were relatively unscathed
Image copyright EPA
Image caption Injured train passengers got medical attention at O Porrino

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