Spain reviews rail safety following deadly crash

LAST UPDATED: 11 Aug, 2013 @ 08:42
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Spain reviews rail safety following deadly crash

THE government have said it will review the rail network after Europe’s worst rail disaster killed 79 people.

Public works minister, Ana Pastor, said; “We are carrying out a general review of all protocols and all security systems, as well as speed limits. When I say all, it is of the entire railway network”.

The train was hurtling around a bend at more than twice the speed limit, when it careered off the tracks near the northwestern city of Santiago de Compostela.

The driver, 52-year-old Francisco Jose Garzon Amo, was on the telephone to the on-board conductor and stopped speaking just 11 seconds before the train flew off the tracks.

Garzon has been provisionally charged with 79 counts of reckless homicide. He has been released under court supervision while an investigation into the crash continues.

In his first testimony to the regional court in Santiago that is investigating the accident last month, Garzon said he “didn’t understand” how he failed to brake in time.

“I tell you sincerely that I don’t know. Otherwise I would not have been so crazy as not to brake” earlier, he added according to a court recording of the hearing.

Railway officials say the track where the train crashed was not equipped with the automatic braking systems in place on some high-speed lines and that it was therefore left up to the driver to brake.

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