SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA, Spain — One of the drivers of a train that hurtled off the rails in northwestern Spain, killing 80 passengers, faces questioning by police on Thursday, a court official told AFP.
“The judge has asked the police that he make a declaration,” said the spokesman for the high court in Galicia, the region where the disaster occurred on Wednesday.
The official said the unnamed driver will be accompanied by a lawyer during the questioning.
The cause of the crash is not yet known, but there have been widespread reports that the train was travelling well in excess of the 80 kilometre an hour speed limit when it came off the tracks near Santiago de Compostela.
El Pais newspaper reported that the driver had admitted to railway officials moments after the crash that he had been travelling at 190 kilometres an hour.
Secretary of state for transport Rafael Catala told radio station Cadena Ser that the early signs pointed to the crash being caused by the train going too fast.
“The tragedy that happened in Santiago de Compostela seems to be linked to excessive speed, but we are still waiting on the judicial investigation and the one carried out by the investigation commission from our own ministry,” he said.
The disaster is the worst railway crash in Spain since 1944.