Monday 22 January 2018

Spanish rail-crash driver admits speeding in new recording of emergency call

Rob Williams

A NEW TAPE recording has emerged of a phone call made by the driver of a train which derailed in northern Spain, killing 79 people.

In the call, which was obtained by the El Pais newspaper, Francisco Jose Garzon is heard telling a colleague he had been driving at 190 kmh instead of 80 kmh after becoming distracted.

In the audio, which was recorded shortly after the horror crash, Garzon says: "There must be many injured, it (train) has turned over, I can't get out of the cabin."

He later adds: "It's because I got distracted and I had to be going at 80 but I was going at 190, something like that. I had already mentioned this to the safety people, that this (curve) was dangerous, that we would get distracted one day and that would be it."

During the call, which was made by Mr Garzon to activate the emergency protocol, the driver repeatedly says "poor passengers", adding: "I hope no-one has died."

He is also heard saying: "There must be many injured, [the train] has turned over, I can't get out of the cabin."

Mr Garzon, who was also apparently recorded on the train's black box recorder saying: "I ****ed it up. I want to die", has been charged with 79 counts of homicide and numerous offences of bodily harm committed through "professional recklessness".

The driver is not in jail but remains under court supervision.

The state-owned railway firm Renfe is also on trial over the crash, which was the worst in Spain for 40 years.

The derailment took place on the edge of the city of Santiago de Compostela on 24 July 2013 when a high-speed Alvia train travelling from Madrid to Ferrol, in the north-west of Spain, derailed at high speed on a curve. Some 170 people were also wounded in the crash.

Independent News Service

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