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Victims of Spanish rail disaster remembered in cathedral service

Victims of Spanish rail disaster remembered in cathedral service
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The 79 victims of one of Spain’s worst ever rail disasters have been remembered at a service in the cathedral at Santiago de Compostela.

Families of the victims and rescue workers were joined by members of the Spanish royal family and the prime minister, Mariano Rajoy.

Seventy people still remain in hospital, 22 in a critical condition, after a high speed train came off the rails and smashed into a concrete wall as it approached the city.

The driver of the train has been charged with 79 counts of homicide caused through “professional recklessness”.

The tragedy has had a deep effect on pilgrims coming to Santiago for the religious feast of St James.

Margine Noel, a pilgrim from France, said: “This cross came from an elderly Spanish man who makes them. I promised him I would bring it here for those who have gone, and for those who are sadly very badly injured.”

Others added that they didn’t feel able to judge the train driver’s actions.

A Spanish pilgrim, Rafael Ramon said: “It’s the judge who has to decide. I don’t have the information to judge and I can’t judge the driver or anything else.”

On Tuesday the train’s black box will be opened, in the hope that more information will be gleaned about those critical minutes before the crash.