WARNING SOME GRAPHIC IMAGES: A train apparently traveling twice the speed limit jumped the tracks and sent eight cars crashing into each other just before arriving in this northwestern shrine city on the eve of a major Christian religious festival, killing at least 78 people and injuring more than 140.
Last week's horrific train derailment in Spain took the lives of six Latin Americans, according to bodies authorities have been able to identify so far.
A Puerto Rican woman from Houston, Texas, Myrta Lasalle Fariza, died on Sunday, raising the death toll to 79 from the original 78. Fariza, 58, was traveling with her husband Robert, who said that he saw his wife rolling on the floor when the train derailed, causing fatal head wounds. Robert Fariza was not seriously injured.
The couple was going to participate in the Apostol celebration in Santiago de Compostela after visiting relatives in Zamora, Spain.
“We are heartbroken to share the news that Myrta Fariza passed away earlier today,” a statement from the Fariza family on the ‘Hope for Myrta’ Facebook page read. “Words cannot express our sense of loss. To all who knew her, Myrta provided irreplaceable love, compassion, courage, friendship and support. We will miss her dearly.”
Published reports also told the tale of victim from the Dominican Republic, Rosalin Ynoa, was actually an administrator in her country's federal Ministry of Economy. Ynoa, wife and mother of four, was visiting her sister in Santiago de Compostela after attending a meeting in Madrid. Her body remained unidentified for three days after the accident.
Two Colombians, 47-year-old Ana Maria Angel and 36-year-old Sara Camila Velez Fuenmayor, were also identified as victims of the train derailment. Angel had American citizenship and lived in Washington with her husband and daughter. She traveled to Galicia, Spain to meet up with her eldest son so they could partake in the religious celebration.
Fuenmayor moved to Spain when she was 21 years old, and worked as a gymnasium instructor and designed accessories on the side. She was a mother of two and took the train to Santiago de Compostela to visit her daughter who was spending time with her father.
“She was pure life, pure life: she had an energy that nobody else did in this life; she was a spectacular woman, very beautiful, happy with her children,” Fuenmayor’s sister Melissa Velez said.
A 22-year-old Mexican woman, Yolanda Delfin Ortega, was also among those that died as a result of the incident. She was studying in Santiago de Compostela.
A Brazilian was also killed in the train crash, but at the request of victim’s family, the victim’s name has not been released. Published reports, however, identified him as Fabio Cundines Antelo, a 26-year-old with dual citizenship who lived in Spain with his family.
The speeding train was carrying a total of 218 passengers, and although officials have not determined exactly how fast the train was going when it derailed, an American passenger, Stephen Ward, said that a screen in his carriage indicated the train was traveling at 194 kph (121 mph), much faster than the recommended 80 kph.
About 70 people are still recovering in hospitals, 22 of them in serious condition.
The train’s conductor, Francisco Jose Garzon Amo, was charged with multiple cases of negligent homicide on Sunday.