Extraordinary pictures have emerged of the moment the Spanish train left the tracks near Santiago De Compostela.
The train was en route from Madrid to Ferrol on the north western coast of Spain when it derailed.
Eighty people are now confirmed dead, with 131 others injured, 20 seriously. A total of 247 people were on board.
Some of the carriages turned upside down in the crash, hampering rescue efforts.
The impact was so great one carriage flew several metres into the air and landed on the other side of a concrete barrier. Bodies were strewn next to the tracks in the aftermath.
The dead included a US citizen and a Mexican, and at least one British citizen was injured.
Emergency service personnel, helped by local volunteers, worked through the night to free the injured and get them to hospital.
Medical staff worked overtime and firefighters cancelled a planned strike to help the rescue effort.
An investigation has been opened. Preliminary reports indicate the train was going too fast around the curve of the tracks, but no official statement will be made until the train’s black box has been examined.
The train that derailed near Santiago de Compostella was a Series 730 model, one of the most modern used by Spanish rail company RENFE. The 730 first went into service in June 2012.
The S730 is part of the Alvia service, that is trains running faster than 200km/h. It was built by a consortium of Spanish intercity passenger train maker Talgo and Canadian company Bombardier.
A feature of the S730 is that the axle spacing can be modified while the train is running. The spacing on traditional Spanish railways is 1.668m, while the European standard is 1.435m. When Spain started its high-speed train programme, it adopted the European standard for axle spacing. Because the axle spacing can be adjusted on these train while they running, the S730, and the earlier S130 model, can be used on all Spanish rail lines.
The S730 has hybrid propulsion, being equipped with both electrical and diesel power. The train has a top speed of 250km/h in electrical mode, and 180km/h using its diesel engine.
Credit photo : @Kabelleger