UPDATE: According to Reuters, the death toll has risen to 80. The cause of the crash was reportedly due to the train's excessive speed.
A Galicia-bound train in Spain went drastically off-course Wednesday night (July 24) as cars derailed and smashed into a concrete wall, leaving 78 people dead and more than 178 injured, local officials report.
Security footage of the incident surfaced, showing the train split apart within a matter of seconds as it attempted to make a curve.
The engine driver foresaw the crash and phoned the controllers of RENFE, the rail network, saying, "I'm at 190 (kmph) and I'm going to derail!," according to the Telegraph. While there were two conductors reportedly present at the time, it is unclear who made the call. Spanish newspaper El Pais said the driver made another call to the operator moments after the incident.
"It derailed!" the man said. "What am I going to do, what am I going to do?
He continued, "We are all humans – we're humans. I hope there are no fatalities because it will all be on my conscience."
Reports describe the scene as utter chaos with flames bursting from one cart and rescue crews pulling bodies through smashed windows and pried open doors. At least 73 people were initially reported as dead at the scene and others at the hospital, said María Pardo Ríos, a spokeswoman for the Galicia regional supreme court.
According to the local government's Twitter account, 178 people are injured while 95 are still hospitalized.
Charge d'affaires Luis G. Moreno at the U.S. Embassy in Madrid said it was in touch "with families of some injured American citizens."
He said, "We are deeply shocked by the news of last night's train crash in Galicia. Our hearts and prayers are with the friends and families of the victims."
Photo Credit: Getty