A funeral mass was held Monday afternoon for the 79 victims of the train crash in Santiago de Compostela, Spain. Prince Felipe, heir to the Spanish throne, attended. His wife, Princess Letizia, and his eldest sister, Elena, joined him. A native of the city, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, also attended.
Julian Barrio, archbishop of Santiago de Compostela, expressed his condolences as he presided over the mass.
“Families who have lost your loved ones, from the first moment we have had you in our hearts, as have Galicia and Spain, and so many people beyond our borders who have asked me to pass on their condolences,” he said, according to AFP.
Mari Carmen Figueroa, 60, sat outside the cathedral dressed in black. Figueroa told AFP: “I have come because I am from Santiago and because there are people close to me who died in the crash and I know their families,” said Mari Carmen Figueroa, 60, dressed in a black jacket and trousers, outside the cathedral.”
“Even if I hadn’t known them, I would have come,” she said.
In the train crash Wednesday last week, 79 people died, and 70 remain in hospital—22 of whom are in critical condition.
The train derailed while rounding a high-risk bend. The driver, Francisco Jose Garzon, is facing charges of homicide and causing injury due to negligence.
Of the 79 who died, at least 63 were Spanish and two were American.
Myrta Fariza of Houston, Texas, was one of the Americans killed. She was traveling to a Catholic festival with her husband. A statement released by her family reads: “Myrta was our loving wife, mother, sister, mother-in-law, aunt and friend, and words cannot express our sense of loss. To all who knew her, Myrta provided irreplaceable love, compassion, courage, friendship and support. We will miss her dearly.”
The other American killed was Ana-Maria Cordoba of Arlington, Va. She was traveling with her husband and daughter to meet up with her son, who had just finished a pilgrimage, according to the Washington Post.
She worked at the Catholic Diocese of Arlington in human resources. A spokesman for the diocese, Michael J. Donohue, told the Post: “She was a very kind and warm woman of great faith. … It’s just a moment of great sadness for the staff of the diocese here. We pray for her and her family.”