Spanish train derailed 'because of excessive speed'
MADRID (AFP) - Speeding is the main suspect on Thursday in a rail disaster in Spain that killed 80 people and left more than 140 injured, but the reliability of the track security system is also being questioned.
The train flew off the tracks on a curve late on Wednesday as it was about to enter the Santiago de Compostela station in the north-western region of Galicia, causing carriages to pile into each other and overturn. One of the drivers told railway officials by radio shortly after the crash that the train had taken the bend at 190kmh, unidentified investigation sources told El Pais newspaper.
"I hope no one died because it will weigh on my conscience," he reportedly said via the train's radio moments after the accident as he was trapped in the cab of the train and before he knew about the magnitude of the crash. A court official told AFP that police would question one of the drivers on Thursday.
The speed limit in the urban zone around the city of Santiago de Compostela is 80kmh, said the head of state railway firm Renfe, Mr Julio Gomez-Pomar Rodriguez. He would not speculate on the possible causes of the disaster, but the Spanish secretary of state for transport said the disaster looks to have been caused by speeding.