Train crash in Santiago de Compostela. Italo Pendola impressions.

Video interview I gave to canadian tv channel TVA

Santiago, july 24 2013

From tonight something has changed in all of us living in Galicia. Mixed feelings of sadness, frustration, surprise come all together and live with me since a couple of nights ago.

A tragedy like this is filled with numbers; tv said, 10, 18, I went to bed with 35 people dead in that train or right after in the hospital; 100, 120, 140 injured. Numbers. But the day after tv and newspaper really start talking about the stories behind those numbers.

People happy to spend a night of happiness and good time in the streets of Santiago – we celebrated the Saint – and so many people really travelled to share that time with friends and family. A town like Santiago that is more and more used and very friendly place for pilgrims, tourists or travelers.

I don’t know why but in my mind I have that sister coming from South America to make a surprise visit to her sister but in the end she never succeeded…The story of two girls in their 20’s from a Galician village with no more than 2000 people who came here to celebrate youth; a guy who in the end took the train instead of the car because his mum insisted for that choice.. Then the injured describing from their hospital bed the drama..

But something that I want to  tell the world too is the greatness of the people from Angrois, a little area just outside Santiago where all its residents from the very beginning helped and gave all they could in order to save as more lives they could; The guy who fought to explain to 061 ambulance services actually where they were – Galicia is the land of the thousand villages – They broke the train’s window, they covered the bodies of the dead, they helped the injured and even suggested ambulances and firemen the right place to enter in the railways, because in the beginning they didn’t know how to access being extremely protected. The only thing they requested to tv journalists later was to know what happened to some they helped. These people will never forget this; we will never forget them.

This is not our time to judge but to be close in our hearts to those who – in a town like Santiago that today is slowly going back to normal life – are actually living very very hard and painful hours.

A pilgrim this morning left in front of the Cathedral bars among candles and flowers her Compostela – the document that certifies the pilgrimage trail accomplished – with just 2 words: for you.

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