5 Jun 2014

Driver's actions caused train disaster - ministry

9:23 pm on 5 June 2014

Spain's worst train disaster in decades, which killed 79 people last year, was caused by excessive speed and the driver's failure to brake in time.

That is the conclusion of a report by the Spanish public works ministry, and it will be taken into account by the regional court in Galicia leading the investigation.

The train derailed and smashed into a wall on the outskirts of the northern city of Santiago de Compostela on 24 July last year after approaching a curve at more than twice the speed allowed on that stretch of track, Reuters reports.

The driver, Francisco Garzon, has been charged with 79 counts of homicide, while 11 former high-ranking state railway officials have been charged with potentially failing to adequately ensure passengers' safety.