Virginia Woman Killed in Spanish Train Derailment

Ana-Maria Cordoba's husband, daughter also hospitalized after crash

By Mila Mimica, Shomari Stone and David Culver
|  Friday, Jul 26, 2013  |  Updated 6:56 PM CDT
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Northern Virginia Bureau reporter David Culver talks to friends who attended mass in Annandale for the local woman killed in the Spain train crash.

Northern Virginia Bureau reporter David Culver talks to friends who attended mass in Annandale for the local woman killed in the Spain train crash.

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Virginia Woman Killed in Spanish Train Crash

News4's Shomari Stone spoke with the neighbor of Ana-Maria Cordoba, who was killed Wednesday in a train derailment in Spain.

Houston Couple Was on Train That Derailed in Spain

Robert and Myrta Fariza of Houston were in Spain after their daughter's wedding in Rome. Fariza describes the horror of Wednesday's train derailment in Northern Spain and his frantic search for his wife after the crash.
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A woman from the D.C. metro area was among the more than 80 people killed when a passenger train derailed in Spain Wednesday.

Ana-Maria Cordoba, 47, worked as a benefits specialist for the Catholic Diocese of Arlington in northern Virginia, just outside of Washington, D.C.

Cordoba was traveling with her husband and daughter, who were also in the crash and are now listed in stable condition at local hospitals. The three were on their way to visit Cordoba's youngest son, who had just finished the Camino, a pilgrimage across northern Spain.

"She passed away doing something that she loved," family friend Belinda Lee said. "She was traveling, she was with her family, and she was inspired. She wanted to be there."

Cordoba's children learned of her death over the phone.

Mike Donohue with the Arlington Diocese said the staff found out Thursday afternoon Cordoba had passed away.

"Initially we had just heard she was missing, [and] a noon mass was held [Thursday]," Donohue said. "She was very well-liked... [and] very helpful. She had a deep faith and was so very sweet."

At least five other Americans were also injured in the crash.

Excessive speed has been identified as the likely cause of the accident, which occurred near the city of Santiago de Compostela in the Galicia region. Security video that surfaced Thursday shows the train speeding around a right curve.

The driver of the train was detained and put under formal investigation Thursday, NBC News reported.

The Spanish government has declared a national mourning period of three days in the wake of the crash, which was Europe’s worst mainline rail accident for more than 25 years.

President Obama issued a statement that said he and the first lady were "shocked and saddened" by the news of the crash.

"We offer our deepest sympathies and condolences to the families and loved ones of the more than 80 people who lost their lives," the statement read.

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