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The train that derailed in northwestern Spain, killing at least 77 people, did not have "any technical problems" and had been inspected just hours earlier, the head of state-owned Renfe railway company said Thursday.
"What we know is that the train did not have any technical problems, the train had passed an inspection that same morning," Julio Gomez-Pomar Rodriguez told Cadena Cope radio station after Wednesday's derailment, Spain's deadliest rail disaster in decades.
"These trains pass an inspection every 7,500 kilometres (4,650 miles), another inspection every 50,000 kilometres and another every 150,000 kilometres.
"To put it in another way, the maintenance record and monitoring of the train was perfect."
Several media outlets have reported that the train was speeding at the time of the accident, with newspaper El Pais claiming the driver told railway officials by radio that he was going at 190 kilometres (118 miles) per hour in a speed limit zone of 80 kph.
Spanish secretary of state for transport Rafael Catala also told radio station Cadena Ser that the disaster looks to have been caused by the train speeding.
"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 investigating commission from our own ministry," Catala said.
Renfe officials earlier said they will be able to check what speed the train was going when they retrieve its black box.
The Renfe railway company boss confirmed that the driver was 52 years old and had more than 30 years' experience with the company.
This article first appeared on www.sbs.com.au
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