Current Weather
The Spy FM

Conductor In Deadly Spanish Train Crash Was On Phone, Court Says

Filed by KOSU News in World News.
July 30, 2013

The driver of a Spanish train that derailed and killed 79 people was speaking on the phone and had taken the train to nearly twice the speed allowed on the stretch of track where the crash occurred, according to court investigators who reviewed the train’s “black box” recorders.

After reaching speeds of 119 mph, train conductor Francisco Jose Garzon Amo tried to slow the train down “seconds before the crash,” according to an AP report on the court’s preliminary findings, which were released Tuesday.

Amo was speaking on the phone with staff members of the state rail service, the BBC reports.

The speed limit in the area of the crash is around 50 mph (80 kph); investigators say they believe the train was going around 95 mph when it derailed.

The crash occurred near the city of Santiago de Compostela last Wednesday, July 24. Amo faces dozens of charges of homicide and causing injury by professional neglect; those charges were announced Sunday.

The train had been carrying more than 200 people in northwestern Spain when it derailed. A mass was held to memorialize those who lost their lives in the crash Monday. As NPR’s Lauren Frayer reported from Madrid yesterday, more than 70 people remain in the hospital, some of them in critical condition.

The train was a kind of hybrid that can run on either new high-speed rails, where they are known to reach speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour, or on older tracks. As Lauren says, the portion of track where the crash occurred did not have newer safety systems that can override drivers’ actions.

The investigation into the crash is still ongoing, officials say. [Copyright 2013 NPR]

Leave a Reply

11AM to 12PM The Story

The Story

The Story with Dick Gordon brings the news home through first-person accounts. The live weekday program is passionate, personal, immediate and relevant to listeners, focusing on the news where it changes our lives, causes us to stop and rethink, inspires us.

Listen Live Now!

12PM to 1PM Fresh Air

Fresh Air

This one-hour program features Terry Gross' in-depth interviews with prominent cultural and entertainment figures, as well as distinguished experts on current affairs and news.

View the program guide!

1PM to 2PM Talk of the Nation

Talk of the Nation

Journalist Neal Conan leads a productive exchange of ideas and opinions on the issues that dominate the news landscape.

View the program guide!

Upcoming Events in your area (Submit your event today!)

Streaming audio and podcasts

Stream KOSU on your smartphone

Phone Streaming

SmartPhone listening options on this page are intended for many iPhones, Blackberries, etc. with low-cost software applications available to listen to our full-time web streams, both News on KOSU-1 and Classical on KOSU-2.

Learn more about our complete range of streaming services

We're perfecting the patient experience - Stillwater Medical Center