A recording of a phone call made by the driver of a train that derailed in northern Spain, killing 79 people, in the immediate aftermath of the accident has emerged.


The driver of a Spanish train that derailed in northern Spain, killing 79 people, admitted speeding but complained about a dangerous curve as he lay trapped in his cabin, a new recording has revealed.

In a telephone call to rail officials moments after the disaster in July, injured train driver Francisco Jose Garzon Amo can be heard pleading to God, fretting over the fate of passengers and decrying the bend where the train derailed.

“There must be many wounded because it has turned over. I can’t get out of the cabin,” he said, pausing for breath every few words, in a recording released online by Spain’s El Pais newspaper.

The train’s two data recording “black boxes” showed that moments before the crash the train was travelling at 192 kph (119 mph). The speed limit on the curve was 80 kph.

“It was green and I had a lapse and, how to say it, I should have gone at 80 and I went at 190 or something like that,” the driver said in the call to rail officials at Madrid’s Atocha station.

Garzon has been charged with “79 counts of homicide and numerous offences of bodily harm committed through professional recklessness”.

The driver is not in custody but remains under court supervision.

In the accident, which too place on the evening on 24 July, all eight carriages of the train careered off the tracks into a concrete wall as they sped around a bend on the route between Madrid and the coastal city of Ferrol.

Some 170 people were injured.

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