Excessive Speed Suspected in Deadly Spanish Derailment

79 people are confirmed to have died so far in Spain's most deadly train accident in 40 years. The accident involved an Alvia train traveling from Madrid to Ferrol that was said to be operating at more than twice the advised speed when it derailed.

"The accident involving the Alvia train, which was travelling from Madrid to Ferrol, derailed at 8.41pm, just four kilometers from the Santiago de Compostela stop," report David Reinero and Sonia Vizoso with Spanish newspaper El Pais. "The forces involved were such that one of the eight carriages ended up being thrown 15 meters from the track."

"The train operator, who suffered light injuries, said on his radio after the accident that the train was traveling at 190km/h on the stretch of track, which has a limit of 80km/h."

"Meanwhile," they add, "a judge in Santiago de Compostela officially named the conductor of the Alvia high speed train, Francisco José Garzon, as a defendant in his investigation, EFE News Agency reported."

"The track had been adapted for the AVE high-speed trains, but the signaling system had not," note Reinero and Vizoso. "An engineer from the Adif state rail infrastructure company, who admitted he was unaware of the exact circumstances of the accident, explained on Wednesday that it would be very difficult for a train to derail simply due to excess speed, and that another factor – involving either the track or the train itself – must have come into play."

Full Story: Death toll rises to 79 in Santiago de Compostela train crash

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