News / Europe

Spain State Rail Officials Face Probe After Crash

A passenger train drives past the site of a train crash, with the train engine (R) derailed from the track, in Santiago de Compostela, northwestern Spain, July 27, 2013.
A passenger train drives past the site of a train crash, with the train engine (R) derailed from the track, in Santiago de Compostela, northwestern Spain, July 27, 2013.
Reuters
A judge investigating Spain's worst train disaster in decades will question safety officials from state rail company Adif after finding basic precautions were not made, papers released on Tuesday showed.

The main cause of the accident, which killed 79 people in the northwestern region of Galicia last month, was the train's excessive speed, Judge Luis Alaez wrote in court documents. The papers also said he had decided to put safety officials at Adif under formal investigation.

“There was an omission of elementary precautions by those whose mission it was to guarantee the safety of railway circulation on the line, which could constitute a punishable offense,” Alaez wrote.

The train derailed and slammed into a concrete wall on the outskirts of Santiago de Compostela on July 24, after approaching a curve at more than twice the speed limit on that piece of the track.

Video of derailment
Spain Train Accidenti
X
July 25, 2013 2:12 PM
Dramatic video released Thursday shows the moment a train in northern Spain jumped the tracks, killing 77 people and injuring more than 140.

Driver Francisco Garzon, 52, has been charged with negligent homicide and released without bail pending trial.

In a closed-door hearing before Alaez, Garzon admitted taking the curve too fast, blaming it on a momentary lapse, according to media reports.

Alaez, who is leading a pre-trial investigation of the crash, said those responsible for safety should have foreseen that human errors, caused by fatigue or habit, could pose a risk on what was known to be a difficult curve.

Given the lack of adequate automatic braking systems that could work on that stretch of rail, safety officials should have taken better preventative measures, including brake signs further away from the bend, the judge said.

Adif said it had not yet received an official request from the judge and did not know how many employees might be placed under investigation.

“Adif is collaborating and will collaborate with the judge,” said its spokesman.

Adif and train operator Renfe also have been asked to hand over technical reports and documents on security protocols, as well as internal audits and incident reports relating to the track where the accident happened.

Spain's government has started a review of the safety of the whole rail system.

You May Like

UN Ambassador Power Highlights Plight of Women Prisoners

She launches the 'Free the 20' campaign, aimed at profiling women being deprived of their freedom around the world More

Satellite Launch Sparks Spectacular Light Show

A slight delay in a satellite launch lit up the Florida sky early this morning More

Fleeing IS Killings in Syria, Family Reaches Bavaria

Exhausted, scared and under-nourished, Khalil and Maha's tale mirrors those of thousands of refugees from war-torn countries who have left their homes in the hopes of finding a better life More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs