By Spanish Red Cross
Following yesterday’s devastating train crash in Santiago de Compostela, north-west Spain, the Spanish Red Cross has sent out alerts to 22 psychosocial support teams who may be called on to provide support for the injured and families of the dead. The organization’s first response was to help with medical support, including helping to evacuate the injured to local hospitals in coordination with local authorities.
The train, travelling from Madrid to Ferrol, derailed as it approached Santiago de Compostela. Reports suggest there were over 270 people aboard the train. Rescuers worked through the night on the wreckage to free trapped passengers and provide emergency medical treatment on the accident site.
“Our staff and volunteers arrived at the scene of the accident within the first hours and immediately started to help with evacuation and provide emergency first aid. This is a very serious and extremely tragic accident and our teams will remain on hand to provide counselling and support to all those affected,” said Carmen Martin, spokesperson of the Spanish Red Cross.
Three emergency response teams were deployed immediately to provide psychosocial support at the railways stations in Coruña and Santiago. One emergency response unit has been dispatched from the city of Salamanca. The teams, which include doctors, nurses, psychologists and social workers, will assess the needs of those affected by the accident, including, relatives, victims and emergency workers. They have experience of dealing with complex emergencies at short notice, and were involved in the Spanish Red Cross operations following the Madrid bombing of 2004 and earthquakes in Lorca, Chile, Peru and Haiti.