Disasters & Accidents

Trial over deadly train wreck that killed 80 begins in Spain

Santiago de Compostela, Spain, Oct 5 (EFE).- Two men have gone on trial in Spain’s Galicia region over a deadly high-speed train crash outside Santiago de Compostela in 2013 that killed 80 and injured 145 more.

The train’s driver Francisco, José Garzón Amo, and the former head of circulation security with Spain’s state rail operator firm Adif, Andrés Cortabitarte, stand accused of homicide, causing injury and damage as a result of “gross professional negligence” and each face up to four years in prison.

Victim damage claims total nearly 58 million euros.

The opening of the trial Wednesday in the northwestern Spanish region comes nine years after the high-speed Alvia train, which was traveling from Madrid to Ferrol with 218 passengers and four crew on board, derailed on a curve outside Santiago de Compostela.

Investigators established that the train was traveling at 179 kph (111 mph) on a section with a maximum speed limit of 80 kph.

A previous probe found that the driver had been talking to the conductor on his phone moments before the crash.

Some 669 people, including witnesses and experts, are due to testify at the trial, which is taking place at Santiago de Compostela’s city of culture, a network of cultural buildings outside the city, due to the sheer number of people involved in the process, which is expected to take months.EFE


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