The driver of the train that crashed in Santiago de Compostela on Wednesday should have begun to put the brakes on four kilometers before taking the curve where the accident happened, according to the president of state rail infrastructure company Adif, Gonzalo Ferre, who on Friday implicitly laid the blame for the deadly crash squarely at Francisco José Garzón’s door.
In an interview with the Efe news agency, Ferre said that “four kilometers before the location of the accident, [the driver] is notified that he must reduce his speed, because as he comes out of the tunnel he has to be going at 80 [km/h].”
Ferre also claimed that all of the safety systems on the train had worked correctly, and that the driver would have had a route map with all of the speed limits clearly marked on it. “If not,” Ferre added, “he would be just another passenger.”
These statements appeared to confirm what security camera footage of the incident seems to show: that the train derailed due to excess speed on a sharp corner.
However, on Friday morning, the president of the rail firm Renfe, Julio Gómez-Pomar, told TV station Antena 3 that the train driver had passed the point where the accident happened more than 60 times, and as such should have an “exhaustive” knowledge of the line.