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'Spanish train driver was on phone when it derailed'

Spanish train driver was on phone when it derailed

Madrid: The driver of the train, which derailed and killed 79 people last week in Spain, was speaking on his phone when the accident occurred, a Spainsh court has found.

The train had derailed July 25 just a few hundred metres beyond the cut-off point for the European Rail Traffic Management System.

Investigators said that Francisco Jose Garzon, the train driver, received a call from the staff of the rail company Renfe to discuss the route he needed to follow, Xinhua reported Tuesday.

The court made the ruling after analysing the train's data recorders, which register speed, distances and other data. The train was running at 192 km per hour in a curve with speed limit of 80 km.

The driver has been accused of manslaughter caused by recklessness.

Colleagues have described the 52-year-old Garzon as an experienced railwayman who had worked for Spain's national rail company, Renfe, for around 30 years

According to Renfe, there were 218 passengers and five railway staff on the train involved. It is Spain's worst rail accident for more than 40 years.


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