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Santiago de Compostela Train Crash

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It was the day before the dia de Santiago de Compostela, which is a day of celebrations for the town. That however is a distant memory now as a result of one of the worst transport tragedies in Spanish history.

When we saw the reports of a train derailment up in Galicia little did we know the true extent of the accident. Very quickly the death toll and seriously injured numbers starting increasing hours by hour until, as we write this article there are 78 people dead and scores of people injured.

So what happened?

This is still the question very much on the lips of everyone in Spain, where 3 days of mourning have been decreed across the country. The driver survived the crash as did the co-driver and again as we write this article, the driver is under guard in hospital.

There are many different rumours circulating, not all of which have been substantiated. Some reports suggest that the driver had previously posted Facebook images of the speedometer of the train as he smashed speed limits.

Early reports from the crash scene point to the fact that the train was travelling too fast and that in may have been over twice the speed limit when it took a ‘difficult’ bend, which should have been approached at 80 kph. Some blame is also being levelled at the operator too because the safer type of warning system was not operating on this difficult bend, something which would have automatically slowed the train down to 80 kph.

The name of the driver of the train is Francisco Jose Garzon Amo and he will be questioned by police as a ‘suspect for a crime linked to the case’.

One funeral has already taken place where hundreds turned out to pay their respects to Antonio Villamarin who was travelling from Madrid to Santiago de Compostela for a friend’s wedding with his girlfriend, who survived the crash.

There has been no dated fixed for the driver to appear before court but we expect developments within the next few days.

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