41 Die in Spanish Subway Crash

July 5, 2006

A four-car subway train flew off the rails Monday July 3 in Valencia, Spain, killing 41 passengers and the driver, and leaving at least 45 people injured, 12 of them seriously.

Excessive speed is the most likely cause of the accident. Investigators said the train’s “black box,” which was recovered from the wreckage by emergency workers, indicated it was traveling over 80 km/h (48 mph) on a curved section of track where the maximum speed is limited to 40 km/h (24 mph).

Authorities haven’t as yet determined what caused the excessive speed, but have speculated that the driver suffered some kind of impairment, possibly a heart attack or stroke. They have, however, ruled out any link to terrorism.

The Number One line where the accident occurred is the oldest in Valencia’s subway network, and news reports carry several accounts by local citizens that the line is badly maintained and in need of repair.

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