Driver admits breaking limit

The driver of the train that derailed in northwestern Spain, killing 79 people, has admitted he was traveling at twice the speed limit when he approached the treacherous turn.

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Driver of derailed train 'should have braked earlier'

The driver of the train that crashed in Santiago de Compostela on Wednesday should have begun to put the brakes on four kilometres before taking the curve where the accident happened, according to Spanish newspaper El Pais.

A passenger train passes by a wrecked train engine at the site of a train crash in Santiago de Compostela. Credit: Reuters/Miguel Vidal

The president of state rail infrastructure company Adif Gonzalo Ferre said: “Four kilometres before the location of the accident, [the driver] is notified that he must reduce his speed, because as he comes out of the tunnel he has to be going at 80 [km/h].”

Ferre also claimed that all of the safety systems on the train had worked correctly, and that the driver would have had a route map with all of the speed limits clearly marked on it. “If not,” Ferre added, “he would be just another passenger.”

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