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Hollande expresses French sympathy over Spanish train crash

The scene of the accident near El Ferrol on the way to Santiago de Compostella
The scene of the accident near El Ferrol on the way to Santiago de Compostella Reuters/Oscar Corral

French President François Hollande has sent a message “total solidarity” to Spain after Wednesday evening’s train crash near Santiago de Compostela that cost at least 77 lives. It was not known if any French citizens were among the victims on Thursday morning.

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“The president of the republic has sent a message of support and compassion to the Spanish authorities and shares the grief of the victims’ families,” a statement from the Elysée presidential palace declared Thursday.

Work on identifying the bodies started on Thursday morning.

Police experts were sent to help in the task of going through wallets, purses and baggage to find clues as to victims’ identity.

It was not known on Thursday morning whether any French nationals were among the victims.

Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault also issued a statement expressing his “deep sorrow after the terrible rail castastrophe that has hit Spain” and sent a sympathy message to Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.

The Spanish accident comes less than a fortnight after a train crash in France that cost six lives.

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