A driver of the train that derailed in northeastern Spain on Wednesday night has admitted he was going at more than twice the speed limit, according to Spanish newspaper El Pais.
Citing sources from the investigation into the crash, the paper reported that the driver said he was travelling at 190 kilometres (118 miles) an hour in the urban zone around the city of Santiago de Compostela, where the speed limit is just 80 kph.
"I hope no one died because it will weigh on my conscience," he reportedly said via the train's radio moments after the accident and before he knew about the magnitude of the crash.
"We are all human! We are all human!" he added, according to the paper, before going on to complain about the pain he was suffering in his back and ribs as he was trapped in the cab of the train.
The Alvia train run by state railway company Renfe was on its way to the coastal town of Ferrol from Madrid when it derailed at 8:42 pm (1842 GMT), killing 78 and injuring more than 140 others.
The crash is the worst railway accident in Spain since 1944.