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Train derails in Spain; 40 reported dead

MADRID -- A passenger train derailed on a high-speed stretch of track in northwestern Spain last night, killing at least 40 people and leaving dozens injured in the country's worst rail accident in decades, officials said.

Alberto Nuñez Feijoo, president of the region of Galicia, reported at least 40 people aboard were killed. Cadena SER radio station cited the president of Galicia's main court, Miguel Angel Cadenas, at the scene saying 56 people were killed, but that could not be independently confirmed.

State-owned train operator Renfe said 218 passengers and an unspecified number of staff were aboard. Renfe said the derailment happened along a high-speed section that had been inaugurated just two years ago.

The accident occurred near the train station in Santiago de Compostela, 60 miles south of El Ferrol, the final destination.

-- AP

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