The wait for festivities on the eve of the saint's feast day is part of the experience. People lie or sit on the old stones of the square facing the cathedral from about seven pm to stake their place. Sandwiches unwrap, friendships are struck or renewed, as the queue of people hoping to find a place, or their group, slims to single file only and the square is officially full. Light began to fade, taking on the night and we were hopeful. But it was not festivities that started. It was an announcement that everything was cancelled. Please clear the square. A train crash. 'It must be serious,' people mused, spilling into the narrow streets and finding their way in to bars. Television screens were full of the news. Many dead and many, many more injured on a train carrying over two hundred people. A message typed at the bottom of the screen asked for blood donors. The hospital is a good twenty minute walk out of town near the university. I checked the way a few times, asking people in the street. It became obvious that everyone was going to the hospital, marching down the wide avenue. 'Solidaridad,' one woman said. Solidarity. It was worse than anyone could imagine. The death toll rising as we waited, more than a hundred, standing in the porch of the hospital. Eventually, after rumours of a mobile unit coming to the hospital, we were asked to make our way to the blood transfusion unit somewhere in town. The crocodiles of blood donors disappeared into the night, indistinguishable from the party goers and I could not find the way. This morning helicopters whirr overhead, sirens still cry out and perhaps the way for universal donors will be clearer. Solidarity, Santiago. The old heart grieves and we grieve with you.