Spain investigators: Train conductor was on phone

Associated Press
CORRECTS DATE - This image taken from security camera video shows a train derailing in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, on Wedmesday July 24, 2013. Spanish investigators tried to determine Thursday why a passenger train jumped the tracks and sent eight cars crashing into each other just before arriving in this northwestern shrine city on the eve of a major Christian religious festival, killing at least 77 people and injuring more than 140. (AP Photo)
.

View gallery

CORRECTS DATE - This image taken from security camera video shows a train derailing in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, on Wedmesday July 24, 2013. Spanish investigators tried to determine Thursday why a passenger train jumped the tracks and sent eight cars crashing into each other just before arriving in this northwestern shrine city on the eve of a major Christian religious festival, killing at least 77 people and injuring more than 140. (AP Photo)

MADRID (AP) — A Spanish court says "black box" data recorders show that a train conductor was on the phone and traveling at 95 mph (153 kph), almost twice the speed limit, when the vehicle derailed, killing 79 people.

Investigators say the train had been going as fast as 119 mph (192 kph) shortly before the derailment and that the conductor activated the brakes "seconds before the crash."

In a statement, the court said Tuesday that the conductor was talking on the phone to an official of national rail company Renfe when the crash happened and apparently was consulting a paper document at the time.

The conductor, Francisco Jose Garzon Amo, has been provisionally charged with multiple counts of negligent homicide.

View Comments (415)