News / Europe

Spain Train Crash Driver Detained

Train driver Francisco Jose Garzon (R) is helped by two men after his train crashed near Santiago de Compostela, northwestern Spain, July 24, 2013.
Train driver Francisco Jose Garzon (R) is helped by two men after his train crashed near Santiago de Compostela, northwestern Spain, July 24, 2013.
TEXT SIZE - +
VOA News
Spanish police said they have arrested the driver of a speeding train that crashed Wednesday, killing at least 78 people.

Authorities said Saturday that they are investigating Francisco José Garzón Amo on charges of criminal recklessness.

The 52-year-old driver was detained Friday in the hospital where he is recovering from injuries he sustained in the crash.

Reports said the train may have been traveling more than twice the 80-kilometer-per-hour speed limit when it rounded a curve outside the northwestern city of Santiago de Compostela and derailed.

Authorities will learn more from the data recorded by the train's "black box," which investigators now have in their possession.

Spain's state train company, Renfe, said Garzón is a 30-year company veteran with more than a decade of train driving experience.

Spanish media report the driver bragged about speeding online, with one post on his now-deleted Facebook page featuring a picture of a train speedometer at 200 kilometers per hour and a comment by Garzón, said "I am on the edge, I can't go faster or else I will be fined."

Spanish authorities have opened two investigations into the derailment - one by judicial authorities and another by the public works department.

Security camera footage shows the train traveling Wednesday night from Madrid to the port of Ferrol, slamming into a concrete wall at the side of the track, its first car overturning.

More than 140 people were injured in the crash, and with some remains still unidentified, authorities say the death toll could change.

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.
x
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.
The accident is one of the deadliest train crashes in Spanish history. In 1944, three trains collided in a tunnel, killing hundreds. In 1972, as many as 86 people died in a crash in the country's southwest.

On Thursday, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, who was born in Santiago de Compostela, visited the crash site and the hospital where many of the injured are being treated. He declared three days of mourning to honor the victims.

Recovery teams used cranes Thursday to move the train cars from the scene of the derailment.

The disaster happened on the eve of an annual festival dedicated to Saint James, one of Jesus' disciples, whose remains are said to rest in Santiago's centuries-old cathedral.

The apostle's shrine is the destination of the famous El Camino de Santiago pilgrimage across the Pyrenees, which has been followed by Christians since the Middle Ages and has had a resurgence in popularity in recent decades.

You May Like

Abuja Blast Impacts Lives, Livelihoods

Officials say they are looking at ways to help bombing victims and boosting security More

Cambodia Technology Adviser Criticizes Cybercrime Draft Law

Phu Leewood says current criminal code can be used to prosecute offenders and that there is no need for a separate law More

Photogallery A Year Later, Boston Remembers Deadly Marathon Bombings

City pauses to honor victims and salute emergency workers who came to their assistance in frantic moments after blasts More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid