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Spanish Train Crash,,,,,,,,Driver Held

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Spanish Train Crash,,,,,,,,Driver Held

Post  Panda on Thu 25 Jul - 23:54

Spain Train Crash: Driver Held In HospitalPolice question the man as Spain counts the human cost of a rail disaster that many are blaming on excessive speed.11:13pm UK, Thursday 25 July 2013 Video: Three days of mourning as investigation under way
EmailThe driver of a train which crashed in Spain, killing at least 80 people, is being held in custody in hospital.

A judge has ordered police to take a statement from the man as three days of mourning began following one of the country's worst rail disasters in decades.

CCTV footage has emerged of the train derailing and hurtling into a concrete wall as it enters a sharp bend at high speed.

Some carriages flipped over and burst into flames on the tracks just outside Santiago de Compostela, a popular pilgrimage city in the northwestern region of Galicia. Bodies and debris were left strewn across the tracks.

More than 140 people, including a Briton and several Americans, were hurt and 31 remain in a serious condition. Officials have warned the death toll could rise further.


Rescue workers pull passengers from the wreckage

There are reports the train - carrying 218 passengers plus crew - may have been travelling at twice the speed limit of 80km (50 miles) per hour for that stretch of track.

While the driver is being questioned as a possible suspect, investigators are also trying to establish why failsafe security devices to limit the train's speed had not kicked in.


An official inspects the train engine

The security camera footage is backed up with eyewitness accounts that suggest the eight-carriage train was going too fast as the track curved to the left under a road bridge.

According to reports, one of the two drivers at the helm of the train realised what was about to happen before the crash and made a desperate call to Renfe ahead of taking the bend, saying: "I'm going at 190kmh (120mph), I'm going to derail."

In a second call to Renfe after the accident, he explained that he was trapped in the train's loco.


Relatives of passengers wait for news

Spanish media have named one of the drivers as Francisco Jose Garzon Amo, 52, who has been treated for injuries and is reportedly the one under investigation.

State-owned Renfe has said the five-year-old train "did not have any technical problems" and had been inspected just hours earlier.

Sky's Robert Nisbet, in Santiago, said: "Whether the speed of the train was due to human error or some kind of technical problem is going to be the source of some inquiry."


Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, right, visits the scene

The Alvia 730 series train was travelling from Madrid to the port city of Ferrol when it crashed about 8.40pm local time - 7.40pm UK time - on Wednesday.

Firefighters clambered over the twisted metal as they tried to get survivors out of the windows.

Neighbours who ran to the site to help emergency workers have described a "hellish" scene.

"It was like an earthquake," said Martin Rozas who helped pull the wounded from the wreckage and laid blankets over the dead.


State-owned rail operator Renfe said the train was five years old

"I started helping pull people out. I saw about five people dead."

Many of the dead were taken to a makeshift morgue set up in a sports arena in Santiago, where police and court officials were identifying the bodies.

Relatives of victims sobbed and hugged each other as they sought news about their missing loved ones.


Residents rushed to the scene to help victims

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, who was born in the city, visited the site and the main hospital and said: "For a native of Santiago, like me, this is the saddest day."

The crash occurred on the eve of a major Christian religious festival honouring St James, the disciple of Jesus whose remains are said to rest in a shrine.

Many of the dead or injured were believed to be Catholic pilgrims converging on the city. The festival was cancelled for the day.

King Juan Carlos has also visited survivors and the country's royal family has suspended all engagements, while messages of support have come from the likes of British Foreign Secretary William Hague and President Barack Obama, who said he was "shocked and saddened".

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Re: Spanish Train Crash,,,,,,,,Driver Held

Post  Panda on Fri 26 Jul - 7:14

Spain train crash: driver had boasted about speeding on Facebook page
One of the drivers of a Spanish train that careered off the tracks and smashed into a concrete wall, killing at least 80 people, had previously boasted about speeding on his Facebook page.
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TelegraphPlayer_10203319.
By Fiona Govan, Madrid
8:36PM BST 25 Jul 2013

Francisco Jose Garzon de Amo, 52, a train driver with 30 years experience, was under police guard in hospital on Thursday night after being placed under investigation over Spain’s worst rail disaster for almost 70 years. He escaped with only light wounds in a crash that injured more than 130.

Early investigations suggested the train derailed on Wednesday evening while travelling at more than twice the 80km/h speed limit on a dangerous curve approaching the northern city of Santiago de Compostela in north western Spain.

Francisco Jose Garzon de Amo

Dramatic video showed the train flying off the tracks as it sped round the bend and slamming into a wall, sending carriages into the air and leaving a scene of ‘Dante-esque’ devastation. Three days of national mourning have been declared in Spain.

On Thursday night, the Spanish media published excerpts from Mr Garzon’s Facebook page as speculation mounted that human error was to blame for the tragedy.

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In one posting, he was alleged to have said: “It would be amazing to go alongside police and overtake them and trigger off the speed camera.” The comments were posted beneath a photograph of a train’s speedometer clocking 200 km/h (124 m/h).

“Ha ha ha, That would be a lovely fine for Renfe (the state-owned train company).”


One of his friends commented: “You are going way too fast – Braaaaaaake!!”

Other media reports suggested that in the aftermath of the crash, Mr Garzon shouted into a phone: “I’ve derailed! What do I do?”.

One of the drivers is said to have admitted to rail officials that the train was travelling at 190 (km/h - 118m/h) in the moments before the accident. The service, from Madrid, was reportedly running late at the time.

Investigators were last night trying to establish why the train was going so fast and why security devices to keep speed within permitted limits had not worked.

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Re: Spanish Train Crash,,,,,,,,Driver Held

Post  wjk on Fri 26 Jul - 7:17

The video of the train crashing into the wall is horrendous.
My thoughts are with all the families of those killed or injured in this disaster.

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Re: Spanish Train Crash,,,,,,,,Driver Held

Post  AnnaEsse on Fri 26 Jul - 7:19

wjk wrote:The video of the train crashing into the wall is horrendous.
My thoughts are with all the families of those killed or injured in this disaster.

I've watched that video and it's only a few seconds but vivid in my mind. If any of the families of those killed or injured watch that I imagine it will be part of their nightmare for a very long time.

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Re: Spanish Train Crash,,,,,,,,Driver Held

Post  Panda on Fri 26 Jul - 7:40

The death toll might be higher , they won't know for sure until all the wreckage has been examined..what a dreadful tragedy, after 30 yrs experience, whatever possessed the Driver to act like a maniac.?

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Re: Spanish Train Crash,,,,,,,,Driver Held

Post  AnnaEsse on Fri 26 Jul - 7:45

Panda wrote:The death toll might be higher , they won't know for sure until all the wreckage has been examined..what a dreadful tragedy, after 30 yrs experience, whatever possessed the Driver to act like a maniac.?

Panda, we don't know at the moment that he did behave like a maniac. If he did, then it's horrendous that he escaped and so many were killed.

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Re: Spanish Train Crash,,,,,,,,Driver Held

Post  Panda on Fri 26 Jul - 7:53

AnnaEsse wrote:
Panda wrote:The death toll might be higher , they won't know for sure until all the wreckage has been examined..what a dreadful tragedy, after 30 yrs experience, whatever possessed the Driver to act like a maniac.?

Panda, we don't know at the moment that he did behave like a maniac. If he did, then it's horrendous that he escaped and so many were killed.

Morning AnnaEsse, this is from the Report in my post, plus he was bragging about speed on facebook


Early investigations suggested the train derailed on Wednesday evening while travelling at more than twice the 80km/h speed limit on a dangerous curve approaching the northern city of Santiago de Compostela in north western Spain. "

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Re: Spanish Train Crash,,,,,,,,Driver Held

Post  AnnaEsse on Fri 26 Jul - 10:39

Panda wrote:
AnnaEsse wrote:
Panda wrote:The death toll might be higher , they won't know for sure until all the wreckage has been examined..what a dreadful tragedy, after 30 yrs experience, whatever possessed the Driver to act like a maniac.?

Panda, we don't know at the moment that he did behave like a maniac. If he did, then it's horrendous that he escaped and so many were killed.

Morning AnnaEsse, this is from the Report in my post, plus he was bragging about speed on facebook


Early investigations suggested the train derailed on Wednesday evening while travelling at more than twice the 80km/h speed limit on a dangerous curve approaching the northern city of Santiago de Compostela in north western Spain. "

Yes, but that still doesn't mean that in this instance he was deliberately speeding. He has not been charged with anything and even then, it's "alleged." Someone on Radio 4 this morning said that those trains were fitted with computers that cut in if the train was exceeding a speed limit. The driver could over-ride the computer and it is under investigation to find out if the computer had been working and the driver did the over-ride on it.

ETA: There is also the question of why the carriages split. If you watch the video, the engine goes round the bend and then the carriages split somewhere between the first few carriages. The "expert" on Radio 4 said this wouldn't happen with British trains.

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Re: Spanish Train Crash,,,,,,,,Driver Held

Post  Panda on Fri 26 Jul - 16:20

This is the latest News, the photos never came out.

'Reckless' Train Crash Driver Held By PoliceAs the first video footage of the driver of a speeding train being led away emerges, he is formally detained by Spanish police.2:59pm UK, Friday 26 July 2013 Video: Injured Train Driver: First Footage
EmailPolice have formally detained the driver of a train that derailed in northwestern Spain, killing at least 78 passengers and injuring another 130.

The National Police Chief for the Galicia region, Jaime Iglesias, said driver Francisco Jose Garzon Amo was arrested in the hospital where he is recovering.

Mr Iglesias said Garzon would be questioned "as a suspect for a crime linked to the cause of the accident".

Asked at a news conference in Santiago de Compostela why the driver was being detained, Mr Iglesias added: "For recklessness."


Mr Garzon boasted about speeding on his Facebook page

The 52-year-old driver is being guarded by police and cannot yet testify because of his medical condition, the police chief said.

He did not have any further details of his state of health but said it could delay his statement.

Sky News understands Garzon's condition is not serious. Pictures and video footage have emerged of him being led away from the crash scene with his head covered in blood while other images show the engine cabin was largely intact compared to the rest of the train.

Police also said the number of dead, yesterday thought to be 80, has been reduced to 78 as forensic science units continue to identify remains.

The train's black box recorder has been retrieved from the wreckage. Early indications suggested the train may have been travelling at more than twice the speed limit at the time of the crash on Wednesday night.


An official inspects the train's engine

The eight-carriage train came off the tracks on a bend, hit a wall and caught fire just outside the pilgrimage destination Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain.

The train entered the bend at 190km per hour (120mph), according to local media reports. The speed limit on the curve was 80km per hour (50mph).

As the investigation turned its focus more and more towards human error, the Spanish press revealed that immediately after the derailment Garzon allegedly said to officials at the railway station 3km from the crash: "I ****** up, I want to die. So many people dead, so many people dead."

Witnesses are also reported to have heard the driver shout into a phone: "I've derailed! What do I do?"

And as his country mourned, it emerged that Garzon is thought to have boasted on his Facebook page about how fast he was driving a train in March last year.


Staff from a hospital treating the injured hold a minute's silence

The driver posted a picture of a train speedometer at 200km per hour (124mph) on the social networking site. His Facebook page has since been blocked.

"What a blast it would be to go parallel with the Guardia Civil (Spanish police) and go past them triggering the radar. Haha what a fine for Renfe (Spanish rail operator) haha," he wrote on what is believed to be his Facebook page.

There was a second driver on the train, but it is believed Garzon was the only driver at the time.

He is understood to have taken control of the train from a second driver about 65 miles (104km) south of Santiago de Compostela.

According to reports, one of the drivers realised what was about to happen before the crash and made a desperate call to Renfe ahead of the bend, saying: "I'm going at 190km per hour, I'm going to derail."


A truck transports a carriage away from the scene of the crash

In a second call to Renfe after the accident, the driver explained that he was trapped in the train.

"We are human, we are human," he is reported to have said. "I hope there are no dead because they would fall on my conscience."

Two investigations are being carried out into the catastrophe - one to look into possible failings by the driver and the other to examine the train's in-built speed regulation systems and see if it was a technical malfunction that meant the driver was not warned of the reduced speed limit around the bend.

Many questions remain unanswered about what went wrong, with some experts claiming that high speed alone would not explain the crash and speculation that the train's braking systems might have failed.

Reporting from the scene, Sky News Europe Correspondent Robert Nisbet said investigators would be focusing on the statements made by the driver immediately after the derailment.


An aerial view of the carnage caused by the derailment

Nisbet pointed to further reports from Spanish media suggesting the driver had told officials at Santiago de Compostela train station that an electronic warning signal was flashing inside the driver's cabin to indicate he was going too fast.

"He is said to have pressed a button to acknowledge the warning but still apparently did not slow down," Nisbet said.

State train company Renfe said Garzon had been at the firm for 30 years and he had been driving trains for more than a decade.

He became an assistant driver in 2000 and a fully qualified driver in 2003.

Garzon is understood to have been on the Madrid to Ferrol service, on which the crash happened, for a year, after undergoing training specific to that line.


The impact was so huge one carriage flew several metres into the air

Meanwhile, with 72 of the 78 dead so far identified, medical experts are continuing to try to identify the six remaining victims as distraught families continue to wait for news about their loved ones.

DNA tests are expected to be carried out on those with catastrophic injuries, with results available in the coming days.

The victims of the crash included a US citizen and a Mexican. At least one British citizen and four children were among the 130 people injured. Just over 30 of those in hospital are still critically ill.

Spanish newspaper El Pais has revealed details of a dramatic WhatsApp conversation between one of the survivors trapped in the train wreck and her husband.

At 8.45pm local time, the woman sent messages saying she had been in an accident and was "crushed".


Relatives of passengers on the train wait for news of their loved ones

After what her husband described as "the longest five minutes of my life", she sent another message saying "I'm safe".

The 46-year-old woman escaped with minor injuries to her legs and has already been discharged from hospital.

Video footage from a security camera showed the train, which had 247 people on board, hurtling into a concrete wall at the side of the track.

The impact was so huge one carriage flew several metres into the air and landed on the other side of a concrete barrier.

The Alvia 730 series train was travelling from Madrid to the port city of Ferrol when it crashed about 8.40pm local time - 7.40pm UK time - on Wednesday.


Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy visits the scene of the crash

The crash occurred on the eve of a major Christian religious festival honouring St James, the disciple of Jesus whose remains are said to rest in a shrine.

Many of the dead or injured were believed to be Catholic pilgrims converging on the city.

Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, who was born in Santiago de Compostela, visited the scene of the crash on Thursday and declared three days of official mourning across the country.

King Juan Carlos also visited one of the hospitals where many passengers are being treated.

Local reaction to the crash has been such that an appeal for blood donations resulted in hospitals having to turn people away because they could not cope with the demand.

Many local hotels are also offering free rooms to relatives of those involved.

The train crash is the worst Spain has experienced since a three-train accident in a tunnel in the northern Leon province in 1944.

Due to heavy censorship at the time, the exact death toll for the Torre del Bierzo disaster has never been established.

The official figure was given as 78 dead, but it is thought that as many as 250 could have been killed.

There was another serious accident in Spain in 1972 when a Madrid to Cadiz express collided head-on with a local train on the outskirts of Seville.

A total of 77 people died, with more than 100 injured.

The latest crash - one of the worst ever in Europe - comes less than two weeks after six people were killed and scores injured in a train crash just south of Paris.

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Re: Spanish Train Crash,,,,,,,,Driver Held

Post  Panda on Mon 29 Jul - 7:58



Spain train crash driver 'admits he was reckless'

Francisco Garzón was freed on bail after a closed-door hearing at which his passport was taken away
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John Hooper, Santiago de Compostela

guardian.co.uk, Monday 29 July 2013



Francisco Garzón, centre, has been accused of manslaughter by police but the drivers’ union urged ­caution in the rush to blame. Photograph: Lavandeira Jr/EPA


The driver of the train involved in Spain's worst rail disaster in almost 70 years was freed on bail on Sunday night after reportedly admitting to a judge that he had behaved recklessly.

Police on Friday formally accused 52-year-old Francisco Garzón of manslaughter caused by recklessness.

During the closed-door hearing, Judge Luis Aláez took away Garzón's passport and ordered him to report weekly to the court, according to local media. The driver, accompanied by his lawyer, was questioned for around two hours.

The reports, citing police and judicial sources, said Garzón had admitted reckless behaviour. But it was not clear whether the judge had laid charges against the driver or, if so, whether they were the same as those levelled by police.

Garzón arrived at the court handcuffed and wearing dark glasses. He had a visible bruise on his forehead – the result of a gash that he sustained in the crash and which required nine stitches.

Video evidence and passenger accounts indicate the high-speed Alvia train derailed as it hurtled into a sharp bend outside Santiago de Compostela last week. The death toll from the crash rose to 79 on Sunday after another victim died in hospital.

Garzón was brought to court after spending a night in the cells of city's central police station. As he left hospital on Saturday, he made no response when a relative of one of the injured hurled abuse at him, according to an eyewitness account in the newspaper El Correo Gallego.

The railway drivers' union expressed concern that Garzón had been formally accused before the extraction and analysis of data from the so-called "black boxes".

It is hoped the onboard recorders will offer clues as to why a driver known for his prudence entered the curve at more than twice the 80kph (49mph) limit.

Carla Serrano, 19, from Madrid, who survived the crash with minor injuries, said that seconds before the crash the display panel in her carriage showed the train was travelling at 210kph. Her boyfriend pointed it out to her. "I looked up and said: 'Well, yes,'" she said.

At the weekend, several colleagues and neighbours of Garzón came forward to defend him, describing him as a responsible and cautious driver. Eladio Rodríguez, regional head of the transport sector of the socialist General Workers' Union said: "There have to be causes other than the alleged human error."

Before Garzón testified, claims were made of delays in co-ordinating the rescue operation. The daily El País said it had obtained reports compiled by the emergency services that showed it took two hours to declare the state of alert needed to mobilise help from other provinces.

The inhabitants of the neighbourhood of Angrois, where the crash took place, have been widely praised in Spain for their courageous response to the disaster. Without regard for their own safety, they poured on to the tracks, smashing in the windows of the carriages with rocks to pull out the injured, dead and dying.

But the paper said their efforts were offset by official delays. A mobile communications centre, vital for co-ordinating the work of the rescue services, took 46 minutes to reach the scene, El País said.

The most deadly previous crash was in 1944 when up to 800 people are said to have died at Torre del Bierzo.

The days since the accident have seen the chiefs of the Spanish state rail company, Renfe, and the network operator, Adif, put the blame squarely on the driver. The view the courts take of the crash could have important financial repercussions.

Renfe is among the firms bidding for a €13bn contract to build a high-speed rail link in Brazil. The terms of the tender reportedly exclude firms involved in the running of high-speed train systems where an accident has taken place in the preceding five years.

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