The biggest train crash that Spain has seen in decades has taken place on Wednesday. Due to the nature of this train crash, the Spanish government has already decreed three days of official mourning. Official reports show that 78 people died and 130 are injured after a train going too fast around a turn derailed.
The crash happened near Santiago de Compostela in Galaicia. It was here that a train operated by Renfe became derailed with some 218 passengers on board. Right now, 78 people are dead from the crash. However, another 20 people are in serious condition and experts are afraid that the death toll might continue to rise over the weekend.
A live camera showed the train derail. Police are still investigating the crash, but the driver of the train, El Pais, said that he was traveling too fast when he went around the corner. According to Mr Pais, he was going 190 km/h around the curve. The speed limit for this particular corner is set at 80 km/h. It is not yet known if El Pais simply did not see the speed limit or if he simply did not care.
While El Pais was still trapped in the cab of the train, he was being contacted by the train company’s headquarters. It was during this time that El Pais said that he was doing 190 km/h. He also said that he hoped that no one was killed because of his mistake; he does not want that on his conscience. Unfortunately for El Pais, he later learned that this accident caused the death of 78 people.
Currently, the driver is in police custody. So far, El Pais has not been charged, but he was called before a judge to make a declaration before the investigation of this crash started. Although the investigation has just begun, most rail experts seem to think that they are going to find out that El Pais was indeed speeding around the curve. They hope to talk to El Pais more to find out just why he was speeding.
The president of Renfe, Julio Gomez-Pomar, said that it will not take long for them to determine just what caused the accident. They have the statement from El Pais, but they want to do their own investigation before they state anything officially. After the investigation is done, it will be up to the judges to determine what needs to be done with El Pais.
Right now, the investigation is looking into what caused the excessive speeding. They are not sure yet if it was a result of human error or if it was a technical fault. If it was human error, El Pais might find himself in big trouble. It is important to note that Pomar said that this same train passed an inspection on the same day the crash took place. Not only that, but that stretch of line had just recently been fitted with a new security system. The police will have to look at all of these factors during their investigation.
Mariano Rajoy, the prime minister of Spain, visited Santiago to view the crash scene. He said that everyone will do everything in their power to figure out what caused this terrible train accident. He said that they live in an age now where these kinds of things should no longer be happening.