28 Jul 2013

Spanish train driver to be interviewed by judge

8:48 am on 28 July 2013

The driver of a train that derailed in Spain killing 78 people remains in police custody.

Interior minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz said Francisco Jose Garzon Amo, 52, who was slightly hurt in Wednesday's crash, is accused of "reckless manslaughter".

A judge is due to interview him on Sunday, the minister said.

The BBC reports the driver was discharged from hospital on Saturday and taken to a police station.

The train was reportedly travelling at more than double the speed limit at the time of the crash.

State rail operator Renfe said the train came off the tracks about 3km - 4km from Santiago de Compostela station at 8.41pm on Wednesday.

The train was travelling on an express route between the capital, Madrid, and the port of Ferrol, with 218 passengers and four crew members.

The BBC reports the train's data recording equipment is with the judge in charge of the investigation.

Three days of official mourning were declared on Thursday by prime minister Mariano Rajoy.

Seventy-one people remain in hospital. The dead include eight foreigners.

Santiago was meant to be celebrating the yearly festival of St. James this week. Thousands of pilgrims arrived after walking the Camino de Santiago trail over the Pyrenees, or from Portugal. The festivities have been cancelled.