A train has derailed in north-western Spain, killing at least 45 people and injuring many more, officials in the Galicia region have said.
All 13 carriages of the train, which was travelling from Madrid to Ferrol, came off the tracks near the city of Santiago de Compostela.
Images from the scene showed bodies strewn near ruined carriages, and emergency crews searching the wreckage.
Analysts say it is the worst rail accident in Spain in four decades, reports the BBC.
Leader of the regional government Alberto Nunez Feijoo confirmed the death toll but told radio Cadena Ser that it was too early to say what caused the accident.
“There are bodies lying on the railway track. It’s a Dante-esque scene,” he said in comments translated by the AFP news agency.
Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy convened an emergency ministerial meeting late on Wednesday and is due to visit the scene of the accident on Thursday.
“I want to express my affection and solidarity with the victims of the terrible train accident in Santiago,” Rajoy said on his Twitter account.
Local authorities have issued an appeal for residents to donate blood to hospitals in the area.
About 320 members of Spain’s national police force have been deployed in response to the train derailment, officials say.
One witness, Ricardo Montesco, described how the train carriages “piled on top of one another” after the train hit a curve, speaking to Spanish Cadena Ser radio station.
“A lot of people were squashed on the bottom. We tried to squeeze out of the bottom of the wagons to get out and we realised the train was burning…I was in the second wagon and there was fire. I saw corpses,” he added.


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