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article imageUS President Barack Obama: 'We are grieving with the Spaniards'

By Anne Sewell     Jul 26, 2013 in World
Washington - President Obama expressed dismay on Thursday, referring to the train crash near Santiago de Compostela in northern Spain, in which at least 78 people died, including one American, and 178 were injured. (Updated)
Digital Journal reported on Thursday that one of the drivers had been accused of going too fast, possibly causing the horrific accident, which is the worst in Spain for many years.
Authorities in Spain have now confirmed that 78 people were killed, of which 53 have already been identified, and 178 injured in Wednesday's accident, where the high-speed passenger express train, traveling from Madrid to Ferrol, crashed with four carriages instantly derailing.
US State Department says that one American citizen was among the dead and five others were injured, but did say that these numbers could change.
According to the State Department deputy spokeswoman, Marie Harf, US consular staff were working in conjunction with their Spanish counterparts "to account for US citizens who need assistance."
President Obama's address on the subject read:
"Michelle and I were shocked and saddened by the news of yesterday's tragic train derailment in Santiago de Compostela, Spain."
"On behalf of the American people, we offer our deepest sympathies and condolences to the families and loved ones of the more than 80 people who lost their lives."
"We extend our wishes for a full recovery to those who were hurt."
"We also offer our heartfelt gratitude to the government of Spain and to the rescue personnel who are working to locate the missing and treat the injured."
"Today the American people grieve with our Spanish friends, who are in our thoughts and prayers. We stand ready to provide any assistance we can in the difficult days ahead."
In another statement, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee of the US Senate, Senator Robert Menendez, who is of Cuban origin, offered his "deepest condolences" for the accident.
"The harrowing images coming from Spain are difficult to see," Menendez said noting that the Spanish "have experienced national tragedies before," and are "resistant" and "come together to care for one another".
Investigations continue into the cause of the crash.
Update: The number of deaths has now been revised from 80 to 78.
Six of the 78 fatalities have yet to be identified. Some bodies are hard to identify due to the serious injuries sustained.
An American, an Algerian, a Mexican and a French national were among the dead, according to local officials.
Efforts continue to identify the dead and advise their families.
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