The survivors looked like the walking dead, he said. "I've got staples all over my scalp, I was covered in blood. They've scrubbed most of it off me now, but everyone was just covered in their own blood and occasionally the blood of others. It was gruesome to say the least."
Another victim, speaking from a hospital bed with his arm in a sling, told CNN affiliate Atlas that it seemed like the train was going fast.
"But we didn't know what was the maximum speed, so I thought it was normal," he said, "And suddenly there was a curve, the suitcases fell, and everything went dark. And I hit my head a ton of times, and 10 seconds later I was wedged between seats, and I had people's legs on top of me."
The derailment came on the eve of a public holiday to celebrate a saint's day, when more people than usual may have been traveling in the region. Planned festivities in Santiago de Compostela and across Galicia were canceled after the crash.