Tags: spanish | train | crash | arrest

Spain Train Crash Arrest Made: Driver May Have Been Going Too Fast

Image: Spain Train Crash Arrest Made: Driver May Have Been Going Too Fast

Friday, 26 Jul 2013 01:14 PM

By Alexandra Ward

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The driver of the train that crashed in Spain and killed 78 people Wednesday has been arrested as investigators look into claims that he was operating at more than twice the speed limit.

The veteran driver, Francisco José Garzón Amo, was arrested and police on Friday recovered the "black box" data recorders to try and figure out the cause of the crash, The New York Times reported.

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The eight-car train carrying about 200 passengers careened around a corner near Santiago de Compostela Wednesday evening, then jumped the tracks and crashed into a wall. The accident was Spain's worst train crash since 1972, when 86 people were killed in the southwest of the country.

According to Spanish news media, Amo told police he was operating the train at about 120 mph, more than twice the legal speed limit for the area of track where the crash occurred.

It seems Amo may have a penchant for speed. Last year, he allegedly posted on Facebook a photo of a train's speedometer clocked in at 125 mph, the Times reports.

"Imagine what a rush it would be traveling alongside the Civil Guard, and passing them so that their speed traps go off," he wrote, in all capitals. "Hehe, that would be quite a fine for [employer Spanish rail company] Renfe, hehe."

Rafael Catala, Spain's secretary of state for transport and housing, told Spanish radio network Cadena SER that the "tragedy appears to be linked to the train going too fast."

Survivors described the chaotic scene as the train barreled off its tracks.

"We didn't know what was the maximum speed, so I thought it was normal," one victim told CNN affiliate Atlas. "And suddenly there was a curve, the suitcases fell, and everything went dark. And I hit my head a ton of times, and 10 seconds later I was wedged between seats, and I had people's legs on top of me."

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Related stories:

78 Dead in Worst Spanish Train Crash in Decades

Days After Quebec Train Crash, Police Sift Through 'Crime Scene'

Canada Rail Crash Deaths at 28, Missing Presumed Dead

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