MADRID (AP) — The driver of a Spanish train that derailed, killing 79 people, ignored three warnings to reduce speed in the two minutes before the train hurtled off the tracks on a treacherous curve, crash investigators said Friday.
Latest news from Galicia Spain
Spain’s King Juan Carlos and his wife Queen Sofia visited injured train survivors on Thursday and said all Spanish people feel the pain of the families of the 80 people killed in a high-speed train crash in Galicia Spain. The king was speaking on a visit to the hospitalised survivors in Santiago’s University Hospital, close to where the train derailed on Wednesday.
“All Spanish people join in the sorrow of the relatives of the deceased,” King Juan Carlos said, praising what he called the spirit of citizenship shown by rescue workers and blood donors.
Closed Captioned TV on the train approach captured the crash head-on and shows the speed of the train as it hit the track’s curves.
This photo video slideshow made by ChristianMantello shows some of the horror of the crash.
Latest reports have the death toll at 78 people killed in the passenger train derailment in Galicia, Spain on Wednesday, July 24, 2013.
More than 140 of the 218 passengers and crew on-board were hurt, 36 seriously, after the entire Ferrol bound train came off the tracks near Santiago de Compostela with media reports saying the train may have been travelling at over twice the speed limit of 80/km hr around a curve. It was on the express route between the Madrid, and the city of Ferrol on the Galician coastline.
Officials say one of the train’s drivers has been put under investigation. The driver, named by Spanish media as Francisco Jose Garzon Amo, was slightly injured and will be questioned by police, the Galicia Supreme Court said in a statement.
The president of railway firm Renfe, Julio Gomez Pomar, has said the train in the crash had no technical problems.
“The train had passed an inspection that same morning. Those trains are inspected every 7,500km… Its maintenance record was perfect,” he told Spanish radio.
Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has declared three days of national mourning.
“Today is a very difficult day. Today we have lived through a terrible, dramatic accident, which I fear will stay with us for a long time.
“For someone from Santiago, like myself, believe me, this is the saddest Day of Saint James of my life.”
“I want to express my affection and solidarity with the victims of the terrible train accident in Santiago,” Mr Rajoy said earlier.
The derailment happened on the eve of Santiago’s main annual festival where thousands of Christian pilgrims were expected to come to the city in honor of Saint James. The city’s tourism board has cancelled all festivities planned for Thursday.It is one of Spain’s worst train crashes ever with the last being in July, 2006 where 43 people were killed in a metro train crash in the eastern Spanish city of Valencia. .