One American among the dead; train driver is questioned

Mariano Rajoy

SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA, Spain (AP) — The U.S. State Department says one American is among the 80 people killed in yesterday’s train derailment in Spain, and that five other Americans were hurt.

Meanwhile, Spain’s government says two investigations have been launched into the cause of the crash near the Christian festival city of Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain. The regional government confirms that the train driver, who’s hospitalized, is being questioned as a possible suspect, but that investigators are also looking at possible trouble with safety equipment.

According to eyewitness accounts and video of the crash, speed may have been a factor. The train was going so fast, its cars tumbled off the tracks like dominos. One witness says he saw the train “coming out of the bend at great speed and then there was a big noise.”

An analysis of the video by The Associated Press indicates that the train was traveling at least 89 miles an hour, and possibly over 100 miles an hour. The speed limit in the area is 50 miles an hour.

%@AP Links

174-c-15-(Niko Price, AP correspondent)-”that it crashed”-AP correspondent Niko Price reports that an analysis of video images shows that the Spanish train was traveling well above the speed limit when it derailed, killing at least 80 people. (25 Jul 2013)

<<CUT *174 (07/25/13)££ 00:15 “that it crashed”

131-c-11-(Alan Clendenning, AP correspondent)-”jumped the track”-AP correspondent Alan Clendenning reports investigations are underway as to the cause of the accident. (25 Jul 2013)

<<CUT *131 (07/25/13)££ 00:11 “jumped the track”

GRAPHICSBANK: Emergency personnel at scene of a train derailment, Santiago de Compostela, Spain, on texture, lettering SPAIN TRAIN ACCIDENT, finished graphic (25 Jul 2013)

APPHOTO LON106: This image taken from security camera video shows a train derailing in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, on Wednesday, July 24, 2013. Spanish investigators tried to determine Thursday why a passenger train jumped the tracks and sent eight cars crashing into each other just before arriving in this northwestern shrine city on the eve of a major Christian religious festival, killing at least 77 people and injuring more than 140. (AP Photo) (25 Jul 2013)

<<APPHOTO LON106 (07/25/13)££

APPHOTO EM143: Rail personnel clear the area and fix the track at the site of a train accident in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, Thursday, July 25, 2013. A Spanish train that hurtled off the rails and smashed into a security wall as it rounded a bend was going so fast that carriages tumbled off the tracks like dominos, killing 80 people, according to eyewitness accounts and video footage obtained Thursday. An Associated Press analysis of video images suggests that the train may have been traveling at twice the speed limit for that stretch of track. (AP Photo/Lalo Villar) (25 Jul 2013)

<<APPHOTO EM143 (07/25/13)££

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