Pensioners, students, a footballer...Galicia counts victims of disaster - Europe - World - The Independent

Pensioners, students, a footballer...Galicia counts victims of disaster

 

Santiago de Compostela

Antonio Reyes had set off on Wednesday with his wife Rosa Quijano and their daughter Fátima to meet friends in Santiago de Compostela.

The group they were meeting had just finished walking the arduous road trodden by pilgrims for centuries.

With them on board the train from Madrid were two couples, Esperanza Márquez and Francisco García, and Ignacio Bustamante and Josefa Álvarez. They were all looking forward to a long weekend beginning on Thursday with the feast of St James the Apostle, Galicia’s biggest Christian festival.

Of the seven people who caught that train, only Josefa and Fátima – who suffers from Down’s syndrome – survived. The rest died when the train tore itself from the rails two miles outside Santiago station on Wednesday night.

It is now known that pensioners, students, teachers, mechanics and footballers were among the 80 people who died in Spain’s worst train disaster in more than 40 years. Most were looking forward to the traditional mid-summer feast featuring pulpo a la Gallega, a local octopus dish. Instead, many in Galicia were widowed or orphaned and the whole of Spain went into mourning.

Mr Reyes was 60 and about to retire as a schoolteacher, while his wife Rosa worked as a bank clerk. Mr Bustamante worked at the town hall in Cádiz, where all seven originated from, and was well known for helping to organise the southern port city’s annual Easter processions. Ms Márquez and her husband Mr García also worked as teachers.

A former pupil of Ms Márquez and Mr García, who gave his name as Abraham, told state television: “At first I couldn’t believe it, and I still can’t get my head round the fact that I won’t see them again. Apart from teachers, they were friends. We used to stop and chat on the street.”

Also on the published list of 67 victims – investigators have yet to confirm the identity of another 13 – was Tomás López Brión, 22, who played as a midfielder for the nearby second division football team Deportivo La Coruña. He had been to pre-season training on Wednesday and boarded the train to be with his family.

Elsewhere a Red Cross volunteer, Edwin Ynoa, got the shock of his life when he learned that among the victims of the crash he was seeking to help was his aunt, Rosalina Ynoa, who had flown over from the Dominican Republic and taken the train to pay him a surprise visit.

For many families who spent Thursday sitting in a support centre set up in a grim business park, the waiting just added to their grief. Many had traipsed between a make-shift morgue set up in a sports centre, Santiago’s main hospital, and government offices to see if missing relatives were dead or merely injured.

Three cousins of Manuel Suárez Rosende, a travelling salesman, waiting outside the Cersia building, were resigned to the worst, even though officials had not been able to confirm his fate. “He went to Madrid on Monday on business, as ever. He usually went by road or plane, but this time he said, ‘I’ll get the train’,” one of the relatives told journalists.

The death toll could still climb, because 32 of the 87 people admitted to hospital are in critical condition.

News
Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
Arts and Entertainment
Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Sport
FootballFull debuts don't come much more stylish than those on show here
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
Kim Kardashian drawn backlash over her sexy swimsuit selfie, called 'disgusting' and 'nasty'
fashionCritics say magazine only pays attention to fashion trends among rich, white women
Arts and Entertainment
TVShows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Arts and Entertainment
Hit the roof: hot-tub cinema east London
architectureFrom pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
Travel
travel
News
The ecological reconstruction of Ikrandraco avatar is shown in this illustration courtesy of Chuang Zhao. Scientists on September 11, 2014 announced the discovery of fossils in China of a type of flying reptile called a pterosaur that lived 120 millions years ago and so closely resembled those creatures from the 2009 film, Avatar that they named it after them.
SCIENCE
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Matisse: The Cut-Outs exhibition attracted 562,000 visitors to the Tate Modern from April to September
art
Life and Style
Models walk the runway at the Tom Ford show during London Fashion Week Spring Summer 2015
fashionLondon Fashion Week 2014
News
Kenny G
news
News
peopleThe black actress has claimed police mistook her for a prostitute when she kissed her white husband
Life and Style
techIndian model comes with cricket scores baked in
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SEN Teaching Assistant

£45 - £55 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: Teaching Assistants urgently r...

Primary Teacher

£85 - £135 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: The Job:We are looking for a ...

Primary Teacher

£85 - £135 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: Randstad Education is the UK ...

KS1 Teacher

£80 - £100 per day: Randstad Education Bristol: Key stage 1 Teacher - Gloucest...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week