The train derailed about halfway between Rabat and the town of Kenitra, near the city of Sale. Tangled in the wreckage were doors and seats that had been gouged out of place, while passengers’ belongings and glass from broken windows littered the accident site.
Emergency workers rushed people to hospitals in Rabat, Sale and Kenitra while rescue teams searched for more victims with the help of cadaver dogs. Military personnel guarded the site as railway workers and authorities started to investigate why the train jumped its tracks.
“We heard a gigantic explosion. The earth shook and the sound was unbearable,” Mourad El Kbiri, who owns a cafe near where the train derailed, told The Associated Press. “I rushed to see what happened. It was horrific. Disfigured bodies all over the place, blood and body pieces.”
The general director of state-owned railway company ONCF, Mohamed Rabie Khlie, and Morocco’s interior and transport ministers visited the accident site briefly but refused to comment.