Spain train crash: Police lower death toll to 78
SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA, Spain (AFP) - Spanish police on Friday slightly lowered the death toll from a train derailment in the northwest to 78, saying they had identified 72 of the fatalities.
Government officials in Galicia, the region where Wednesday's accident occurred, initially said that 80 people had been killed and over 100 injured when the train flew off the tracks while reportedly travelling at twice the speed limit.
"At the moment the figure is 78 dead, 72 have been identified and six remain to be," Galicia police chief Jaime Iglesias told a news conference in Santiago de Compostela.
Forensic police were working with "mangled bodies", he said, some of which where hard to identify because of the injuries sustained.
Three foreigners are among the dead - an American, an Algerian and a Mexican, the head of the Spanish national police force's forensics department Antonio del Amo told the news conference.
There were still 83 victims of the accident in hospital on Friday, 32 of whom were in critical condition including four children, a spokesman for the Galician health ministry said.
The train with more than 200 passengers and crew on board hurtled off the rails on a sharp bend on Wednesday evening just outside the pilgrimage city of Santiago de Compostela, the capital of Galicia.
The driver, who is in hospital with light injuries, has been detained by police on suspicion of recklessness.