THE driver of the train that crashed last Wednesday killing 79 and injuring many more was on the phone when it derailed, investigators say.
According to a statement released by the court, Francisco Jose Garzon Amo was talking on the phone to an official of the rail company Renfe while simultaneously consulting a paper document at the time of the crash.
“Minutes before the train came off the tracks he received a call on his work phone to get indications on the route he had to take to get to Ferrol,” the statement said.
“From the content of the conversation and background noise it seems that the driver consulted a map or paper document.”
The train was travelling at 119 mph in the moments before the crash.
Garzon activated the brakes just ‘seconds before the crash,’ only slowing it to 95 mph before it came off the rails, crashed into a concrete wall and flipped over.
The speed limit at that spot was set at 50 mph.
The train was carrying 218 passengers at the time of the crash, just outside of Santiago de Compostela.
Seventy nine people have died and at least 130 are still in hospital.
Garzon is suspected of reckless homicide but has not yet been charged.