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Dublin: 21 °C Thursday 24 July, 2014

Three days of mourning in Spain after deadly train crash

The driver is being question by Spanish police.

Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy walks next to a derailed car at the site of a train accident.
Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy walks next to a derailed car at the site of a train accident.
Image: (AP Photo/Lalo Villar)

THE SPANISH GOVERNMENT has announced three days of official mourning after Wednesday’s train crash near Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, which left at least 80 people dead and 130 injured.

Spanish Police are set to question one of the drivers of a train that derailed amid media reports it was travelling at twice the speed limit.

The driver, lightly injured, “would be questioned by police in hospital where he has been placed under surveillance,” the High Court in Galicia said in a statement.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore said there were no Irish citizens caught up in the disaster.

Renfe, the state railway company, has said it is too early to determine the cause of the tragedy.

Derailed cars are removed as emergency personnel work at the site of a train accident in Santiago de Compostela. (AP Photo/ Lalo Villar)

But secretary of state for transport Rafael Catala told radio station Cadena Ser that the early signs suggested the crash had been caused by the train going too fast.

According to several media reports, the train was going at twice the speed limit when it crashed near the northwestern city of Santiago de Compostela late Wednesday.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, a native of the city, announced the launch of two probes into the accident and declared three days of national mourning.

A local government official in the Galicia region said there were 80 confirmed dead, making it the deadliest rail accident since 1944 when hundreds were killed in a train collision, also between Madrid and Galicia.

- Additional reporting AFP, 2013

Related: Driver of Spanish train faces police probe>
More: Video: The terrifying moment when the high-speed train derailed in Spain>
Read: 77 dead, 143 injured in rail crash – “no indications” any Irish citizens were on board>

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