At least 80 people have died and 140 injured in a high-speed passenger train accident near Santiago de Compostela on the day before the most important Spanish feast day celebrating St. James the Apostle, who was responsible for converting the people of the Iberian peninsula to Christianity 2000 years ago. Many of the dead and injured were pilgrims, or peregrinos, traveling from Madrid and other international locations to visit the shrine of the apostle. The site is also the destination of one of the most famous Christian pilgrimages in Europe, called the Way of St. James, in which thousands of people walk every year from France (or farther) to this city in northwestern Spain.
According to the Daily Mail, the drivers of the train admitted to excessive speed entering a curve, and this almost certainly caused the derailment. There was no word on the exact reason for the crew entering the curve at over twice(120 mph) the rated speed(50 mph). The drivers admitted guilt, and extreme remorse, immediately. Still, it was clear that there were complications in play, such as confusion over the route, procedures and the train itself, which was not actually one of the truly high-speed trains in service in the Spanish rail system. However, the Mail has just reported that one of the drivers, Francisco Jose Garzon, had previously boasted on Facebook about pushing his train to excessive speeds. If true, this could represent one of the most dramatic examples of why it is a bad idea to boast of doing stupid things on social media.
Read more at the Daily Mail and to see security video of the crash as it happened. When you see the video, you may think, as Tyler Durden mused, that “judging by the severity of the crash…, it is probably a miracle that orders of magnitude more were not killed.”