Trial begins in Spain over 2013 train crash that killed 80

Oct 4, 2022, 4:35 PM | Updated: Oct 5, 2022, 10:00 am
FILE - Rail workers are seen next to derailed cars at the site of a train accident in Santiago de C...

FILE - Rail workers are seen next to derailed cars at the site of a train accident in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, on July 25, 2013. A trial has begun in Spain on Wednesday Oct. 5, 2022 for the 2013 train accident that killed 80 passengers and injured 145 others. Prosecutors are seeking four-year prison sentences for the train driver and for a former security director at the rail infrastructure company, ADIF after the long-distance train derailed and crashed against a concrete wall while traveling over the speed limit. (AP Photo/Lalo Villar, File)

(AP Photo/Lalo Villar, File)

              FILE - Emergency personnel work at the site of a train which was derailed in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, on Thursday, July 25, 2013. A trial has begun in Spain on Wednesday Oct. 5, 2022 for the 2013 train accident that killed 80 passengers and injured 145 others. Prosecutors are seeking four-year prison sentences for the train driver and for a former security director at the rail infrastructure company, ADIF after the long-distance train derailed and crashed against a concrete wall while traveling over the speed limit. (AP Photo/ Lalo Villar, File)
            
              FILE - Rail workers are seen next to derailed cars at the site of a train accident in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, on July 25, 2013. A trial has begun in Spain on Wednesday Oct. 5, 2022 for the 2013 train accident that killed 80 passengers and injured 145 others. Prosecutors are seeking four-year prison sentences for the train driver and for a former security director at the rail infrastructure company, ADIF after the long-distance train derailed and crashed against a concrete wall while traveling over the speed limit. (AP Photo/Lalo Villar, File)

MADRID (AP) — A trial opened Wednesday in Spain over a 2013 train derailment that killed 80 passengers and injured 145 others, amid tensions at the court entrance between victims and one of the defendants.

The driver of the long-distance train that crashed against a concrete wall near Spain’s northwestern city of Santiago de Compostela and a former railway security director are accused of professional negligence.

Prosecutors are seeking four-year prison sentences if driver Francisco José Garzón and Andrés Cortabitarte, a former security director at state-owned rail infrastructure company ADIF, are convicted of bearing responsibility for the deaths and injuries.

Cortabitarte entered the court through a back door to avoid facing reporters and victims of the crash demonstrating in the front of the building. A protester punched him in the back when Cortabitarte later left through the front door.

Spanish national television aired video footage that showed demonstrators screaming insults at him.

An investigation of the July 24, 2013 derailment showed the train was traveling 179 kph (111 mph) on a stretch with an 80 kph (50 mph) speed limit when it left the tracks. The probe also revealed the driver answered a phone call from the conductor just seconds before the crash.

The driver’s lawyer, Manuel Prieto, told reporters Wednesday that missing signposts on the stretch of railway line where the accident occurred and other inadequate safety measures triggered the derailment, not the phone call.

ADIF confirmed days after the crash that an automatic braking program was installed on most of the track leading from Madrid north to Santiago de Compostela but the coverage stopped 5 kilometers (3 miles) south of the accident site, placing a greater burden on the driver.

A group representing victims of the crash, the Alvia 04155 Victims Platform, said it expected the trial to show that ADIF bore more responsibility for the derailment than the driver.

“The only way, unfortunately, for it not to happen again is for ADIF to be convicted,” platform spokesman Jesús Dominguez told the La Voz de Galicia newspaper.

The association also said it had taken too long for the case to come to trial.

“Some of the victims and relatives have died over the years. For them, there will never be justice and unfortunately nothing can be done,” the group said in a statement reported by Spanish state news agency EFE.

The trial is expected to last several months and feature 669 witnesses.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

A small plane rests on live power lines after crashing, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022, in Montgomery Villag...
Associated Press

Plane caught in power lines after crash, 2 occupants unhurt

GAITHERSBURG, Md. (AP) — A small plane carrying two people got stuck in live power lines Sunday evening in Maryland, causing widespread power outages in the surrounding county as officials worked to extricate the aircraft. The Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement that the single-engine plane, which had departed White Plains, N.Y., crashed into […]
19 hours ago
FILE - Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. walks on the sideline during a NFL division...
Associated Press

NFL free agent Odell Beckham Jr. taken off plane in Miami

MIAMI (AP) — NFL free agent Odell Beckham Jr. was removed by police from an aircraft before takeoff at Miami International Airport after officials said he failed to respond to requests to buckle his seatbelt and appeared to be unconscious, police and airline officials said Sunday. “Fearing that Mr. Beckham was seriously ill, and that […]
19 hours ago
Associated Press

Landslide kills at least 14 at funeral in Cameroon’s capital

YAOUNDE, Cameroon (AP) — A landslide during a funeral ceremony in Cameroon’s capital on Sunday has left at least 14 people dead, the regional governor said. Dozens of others were missing as rescue crews dug through the rubble with flashlights. Centre Regional Gov. Naseri Paul Bea told the Cameroonian national broadcaster CRTV that the search […]
2 days ago
People gather at the capital's main square, the Zócalo, as they listen to Mexican President André...
Associated Press

Mexico’s López Obrador leads massive pro-government march

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Hundreds of thousands of people marched in Mexico’s capital Sunday in a show of support for President Manuel López Obrador, who before assuming the presidency had led some of the country’s biggest protests. The “people’s march” marked four years in office for the leftist leader and was a response to a […]
2 days ago
This photo provided by the U.S. Navy shows U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Thomas James in Centur...
Associated Press

Colorado shooting victim ‘wanted to save the family I found’

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — A member of the U.S. Navy who was injured while helping prevent further harm during a shooting at a gay nightclub in Colorado last weekend said Sunday that he “simply wanted to save the family that I found.” Petty Officer 2nd Class Thomas James made his first public comments on […]
2 days ago
Associated Press

NY sergeant hailed for aiding at 2017 birth helps at another

SHIRLEY, N.Y. (AP) — A group of police officers who helped deliver a baby at a Long Island home over the weekend included a sergeant who helped another newborn take his first breath five years ago. This time, Suffolk County Sgt. Jon-Erik Negron joined officers Conor Diemer, Jadin Rodriguez and Zachary Vormittag after a woman […]
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
Trial begins in Spain over 2013 train crash that killed 80