Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Train driver 'doesn't understand' crash

31 July 2013, 17:19

Madrid - The driver of a Spanish train that derailed killing 79 people told a judge he "didn't understand" how he failed to brake in time to stop the crash, a recording of his court hearing revealed on Wednesday.

"I can't explain. I still don't understand," the driver Francisco Jose Garzon Amo told the judge when asked why he hadn't slowed down in time to take a sharp bend near the northwestern city of Santiago de Compostela.

Asked again about what caused him to crash, he added: "I tell you sincerely that I don't know. Otherwise I would not have been so crazy as not to brake" earlier.

His testimony made during a closed-door hearing on Sunday was recorded and an extract posted online by leading newspaper El Pais.

Judge Luis Alaez released Garzon on bail charged with 79 counts of reckless homicide after the initial hearing, while the court investigates.

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

The driver told the judge he had braked, but by the time he did so the crash was "inevitable".

"Before the train turned over, I had activated everything but I saw that no, no, it wasn't working."

The black box data recorders revealed the train was going at 192km/h before braking shortly before the bend. It was travelling at 153km/h - about twice the 80km/h speed limit on that part of the rail - when it derailed.

The court said the data recorders revealed that when the train crashed Garzon was on the phone to the state rail company Renfe which was giving him instructions for later on in the route.

With 79 people killed and 178 injured, it was Spain's worst rail disaster since 1944.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
S Mbinya
What To Do If She Has A Boyfriend

Here are tips to help you get a girl who has a boyfriend: Read more...

Submitted by
George Vodongo
Kalonzo blasts DP Ruto for ‘grabb...

11 Kamba MPs declared their allegiance to Jubilee last month. Read more...

Submitted by
George Vodongo
President Uhuru Kenyatta pardons ...

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday released 7,000 petty offenders to create room in the prisons. Read more...

Submitted by
Ben Wangui
Why Mashujaa Day celebrations wer...

Find out why this year's Mashujaa Day celebrations were held in Machakos. Read more...

Submitted by
S Mbinya
Foods that burn belly fat fast

You can take your best foods and snacks and still be able to get rid of that pot belly. Read more...