“Dante-esque”: Train Crash Near Compostela on the Eve of the Fiesta

Santiago de Compostela, patron of pilgrims and of Spain, pray for us.

Please pray for those killed and injured in today’s train crash outside of Compostela, and for their families.

The head of the surrounding Galicia region, Alberto Nunez Feijoo, said at least 45 people were killed and round 70 injured, more than 20 of them seriously.

“The scene is shocking, it’s Dante-esque,” he said in a radio interview.

The train was travelling from Madrid to Ferrol on the Galician coast when it derailed, state train company Renfe said in a statement.

The crash happened a day before the city’s main festival focused on St James, one of Jesus’s 12 disciples whose remains are said to rest in the city.

The apostle’s shrine there is the destination of the famous El Camino de Santiago pilgrimage, followed by Christians since the Middle Ages.

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According to other reports, tomorrow’s festivities for the Feast of St James, which draws thousands to the shrine at the end of the Camino, have been cancelled.

We are all on pilgrimage, and our way can be cut short. May St James guide these pilgrims, and all of us, into the merciful arms of the Father, and home at last.