Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

7/31/2013 (11 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Tragedy killed 79 people; driver's license for trains has been suspended for six months

The driver of the Spanish train that derailed and claimed 79 lives was talking on the phone with railway staff at the time of the crash, court officials say. The train was going 95 miles per hour at the time of the derailment, nearly twice the speed limit. The driver, Francisco Jose Garzon, has been charged with 79 counts of homicide and has had his license to drive train suspended for six months.

The driver in the Spanish train derailment, Francisco Jose Garzon, has been charged with 79 counts of homicide and has had his license to drive train suspended for six months.

The driver in the Spanish train derailment, Francisco Jose Garzon, has been charged with 79 counts of homicide and has had his license to drive train suspended for six months.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

7/31/2013 (11 months ago)

Published in Europe

Keywords: Spain, train derailment, driver, homicide charges, fatalities, phone


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - In addition to the charges of homicide, Garzon faces charges of professional recklessness and an undetermined number of counts of causing injury by professional recklessness. Garzon was also was required to surrender his passport and report to court weekly. Attempts by journalists to contact him have been unsuccessful.

The train was nearing the end of a six-hour trip between Madrid and Ferrol when it derailed last Wednesday as it hurtled around a bend in Santiago de Compostela.


Garzon had received a call on his work phone shortly before the derailment. Garzon was apparently receiving instructions on the way to Ferrol from a Renfe staff member. Background noise suggested he was looking at or shuffling papers, the court said.


Command and control posts in Spain can communicate with drivers at any point during a journey, a spokeswoman from Renfe told CNN. Drivers communicate via radio-telephones known in Spanish as "tren-tierras" or train-to-land. Drivers also use mobile phones if radio-telephones are not working or "when it's considered necessary," the spokeswoman said.


A railroad transportation expert at Ohio's University of Dayton Steve Harrod says he was "stunned" by the report that the driver may have been speaking on the phone shortly before the crash. Harrod says that railroad drivers are not allowed to use cell phones to prevent dangerous distractions in the United States.


According to reports, the Spanish train had passed from a computer-controlled area of the track to a zone that requires the driver to take control of braking and acceleration, Harrod said. 


"It's possible that the driver's phone conversation -- which apparently was part of his official capacity as a driver -- distracted him and he missed the transition from automatic to driver control," Harrod said. 


"He may have been unaware he was in control of the train and realized, 'oh, no, we're headed for a curve.' If that's true, I really don't think it was his fault."


The Renfe spokeswoman told CNN that command and control posts have real-time systems to show each train's precise location at a given time. If this were the case, a controller who would have phoned the train driver might have known the train was approaching a curve.


Of the 79 who died in the ensuing wreck, 63 were from Spain. Others were from the United States, Latin America and Europe. The victims were remembered Monday in a memorial Mass at a Catholic cathedral in Santiago de Compostela.


---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2014
Sports:
That sports may always be occasions of human fraternity and growth.
Lay Missionaries: That the Holy Spirit may support the work of the laity who proclaim the Gospel in the poorest countries.



Comments


More Europe

Putin vs. the World: One plane crash may spell the end for Russian president's ambitious plan of conquest Watch

Image of Russian backed separatists stand around wreckage from the downed Malaysian Airlines plane.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

World opinion continues to oppose Russian President Vladimir Putin, with the destruction of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 over Ukraine being the most notable and recent example of Russian interference in Ukraine. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Time and evidence ... continue reading


Prophetic Pope Does It Again: Words to an Economic Conference Make Waves Watch

Image of Pope Francis is absolutely correct. It is not

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

On July 12, 2014, this prophetic Pope made waves again. He addressed participants in an international conference entitled - The Global Common Good: Towards A More Inclusive Economy. The conference was convened in Rome and sponsored by the Pontifical Council for ... continue reading


Sting nabs 600 pedos across UK, Scotland, Northen Ireland Watch

Image of Heightened awareness of child sexual abuse in the United Kingdom came in the wake of shocking revelations of predatory sexual behavior by late TV host Jimmy Savile.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An Internet sting operation targeting pedophiles has led to the arrest of 660 individuals in the United Kingdom. Among those arrested were teachers, doctors, scout leaders, social care workers and former police officers. The six-month investigation was ... continue reading


MYSTERIOUS BISHOP: Father of British science to be honored Watch

Image of Bishop Robert Grosseteste was one of England's foremost scientific scholars, back in the 13th century.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A theologian from Bishop Grosseteste University in the city of Lincoln has called for the erection of a statue of Bishop Robert Grosseteste, the medieval thinker, in his home city of Lincoln. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Dr. Jack Cunningham said that a ... continue reading


Faithful at Istanbul church rattled after Muslim attack Watch

Image of The attacks reopened psychological wounds in light of fatal attacks on Catholics and other Christians in Turkey. Members of the Christian minority here fear that things will only get worse.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The faithful at Saint Stephanos Church in Istanbul, Turkey are feeling rattled after an attack was carried out there by Muslims. Attackers verbally assaulted and threatened them during a baptismal service. Muslims have also destroyed church property in the last ... continue reading


Where does the Vatican store its gold? Mostly in the U.S. it turns out Watch

Image of A new report from the Vatican bank details just where the wealth of the Catholic Church is actually stored.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Vatican Bank-formally known as the Institute for the Works of Religion-has released a 107-page, detailed financial report for 2013. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - This release comes just one week after the group published highlights of its 2013 financial ... continue reading


Church of England rejects Christian tradition and votes to allow women bishops Watch

Image of Church leaders have billed the new proposals as part of a

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While the Archbishop of York asked for the result to be met "with restraint and sensitivity," there were cheers among many Anglicans and Episcopalians when the Church of England voted to allow women to become bishops for first time in its history.The vote ... continue reading


Former euthanasia supporter warns against 'slippery slope' in legalization Watch

Image of Dr. Theo Boer says that in his native Netherlands, where euthanasia has been legal since 2002, deaths have doubled in just six years. This year's total may reach a record 6,000.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Theo Boer, a veteran European watchdog in assisted suicide cases is sternly warning the United Kingdom to not legalize euthanasia. He says that legalizing assisted suicide is a "slippery slope" towards the widespread killing of the sick. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


FOILED: Eiffel Tower, Louvre was targeted by terrorists Watch

Image of France has since unveiled new anti-terror rules which included a proposal to ban terror suspects from leaving the country if it is thought they intend to fight abroad.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

As the tragedy of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 proved, forces of terror are keen to destroy landmarks. The destruction of such landmarks serves to demoralize a population, and spread fear and insecurity about their own safety. Such was the case ... continue reading


Oldest tree in United Kingdom is more than 5,000 years old Watch

Image of The yew is found in churchyards across Europe because the early Church often took over existing religious buildings as it converted and took over pagan regions.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A yew that first took root more than 5,000 years ago in Wales is believed to the United Kingdom's oldest living tree. Residing in a churchyard, the yew was planted 3,000 years ago at the time of Jesus Christ's birth. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According ... continue reading


All Europe News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Song of Songs 3:1-4
1 On my bed at night I sought the man who is my ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 63:2, 3-4, 5-6, 8-9
2 Thus I have gazed on you in the sanctuary, seeing ... Read More

Gospel, John 20:1-2, 11-18
1 It was very early on the first day of the week and ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 22nd, 2014 Image

St. Mary Magdelene
July 22: She is called "the Penitent". St. Mary was given the ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter