THE Philippine Embassy in Spain reported on Friday that there was no Filipino casualty was reported when a high-speed train crashed in north-western Spain, killing at least 80 people and injuring hundreds others.
Raul Hernandez, Foreign Affairs spokesman, said Philippine Ambassador to Spain Carlos Salinas informed the department that there were no reports yet of Filipino casualties in the train that derailed in the city of Compostela de Santiago en route to the port city of Ferrol from Madrid.
"He [Salinas] said he was able to check with local authorities in Spain and got confirmation that so far there were no reports of Filipino casualties," Hernandez said.
"He said it was a grave and very serious accident. He will continue to monitor and coordinate with local authorities to determine if there were indeed any Filipinos," he added.
But the Department of Foreign Affairs official was quick to point out that Salinas' report is not a confirmation that no Filipino was aboard the train when the accident happened. He said that for now, it just means that nobody has called the embassy yet to inform them of any missing Filipino who boarded the train.
The train's driver, 52-year-old Francisco Jose Garzon de Amo, is already in police custody after it was found out the train was traveling more than twice the maximum speed on that bend of the rail.
The allowed speed was 80 kilometers per hour (kph) but one of the drivers called the operator before the crash that the train was going at a speed of 190 kph. There were two drivers in the train during the accident. Both survived the crash.
It was not immediately known who confessed to the operator, but de Amo had a history of boasting on his Facebook that he drives more than the allowed speed. He even posted a photo showing he was traveling at 200kmh. De Amo has 30 years of driving experience.