BBC Spain train crash

A-citizen-and-a-local-police-member-rescue-a-survivor-2087320Days after the worst train crash in the past 70 years in Spanish history, questions have yet to be answered about the cause of the derailment Wednesday night. The incident killed 79 of the 218 passengers with 70 more injured, 22 in critical condition. This weekend the train’s driver, Francisco Garzon Amo, was provisionally charged with negligent homicide on multiple accounts. Amo has been released without bail, however, although he is required to report to court once a week, his drivers license has been rescinded, and he has been forbidden to depart from Spain without permission.

It remains uncertain how much the crash was a result of human error or technical problems. Regional head of the transport sector for the socialist General Workers’ Union, Eladio Rodriguez, tells The Guardian, “There have to be causes other than the alleged human error.” The results from the train’s “black box, ” which holds critical data about what actually happened in the engine room Wednesday night have been released to the judge as evidence.

As usual, the high-speed train was given a full maintenance checkup before its six hour journey from Madrid to Ferrol, a town on the Atlantic coast of Spain. According to Renfe officials the train had no technical or mechanical problems. The BBC report by Richard Westcott focused on other variables that could have come into play. He makes note of the difficulty of maneuvering the curve going from 200km/hr to 80km/hr in seconds—which had been cause for concern prior to the crash but seems to be particularly concerned by the possibilities of one of the multiple safety systems used on board the train malfunctioning or, perhaps, gone unheeded by Amo.

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