Spain rail crash prompts call for prayer

Derailed cars are removed as emergency personnel work at the site of a train accident in Santiago de Compostela, Spain on Thursday July 25, 2013(AP)

Churches in Spain are being asked to remember the victims of a rail crash on Wednesday that killed at least 80 people.

The call came from Bishop Carlos López-Lozano, of the Spanish Reformed Church, who is asking Spanish churches to say special prayers in their Sunday services following the horrific accident near Santiago de Compostela in north-western Spain.

The train was travelling from Madrid to Ferrol when it derailed. At least 130 people were taken to hospital, 32 of them with serious injuries.

The driver of the train, named by Spanish media as Francisco Jose Garzon Amo, is now the subject of a formal investigation.

It has been reported that the train was travelling too fast.

In a message of condolence to friends and family of the victims, the bishop said: "Our prayers are with you. We ask God to give you faith, strength and comfort to deal with such painful moments."

In London, members of the Spanish community attended a special mass at St James's Roman Catholic Church for victims of the train crash.

The Spanish ambassador to Britain, Federico Trillo, was among those attending.

The crash happened the day before the annual festival of St James when thousands of pilgrims who walked the Way of St James were due to arrive in the city.  Celebrations have been cancelled out of respect for the victims of the crash.  

Foreign Secretary William Hague confirmed that a Briton was among those injured.  

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