The driver of the Spanish train which derailed on Wednesday night at high speed killing 79 people has admitted to being “distracted” shortly before the crash.
Francisco Garzon was provisionally charged with multiple counts of “reckless homicide” on Sunday after appearing before a magistrate in a closed-door hearing.
Garzon has been under arrest since the accident but after the hearing he was released on condition he checks in regularly with the court once a week and surrenders his passport.
The 52-year-old who was himself injured, is suspected of driving the train at more than twice the permitted speed on a curve going into the city of Santiago de Compostela.
Investigators are also looking into whether the train, the tracks or the security system which slows down trains were at fault.
Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, who visited the crash site after the tragedy is due to return Santiago today for an official funeral ceremony for the victims.
The train that derailed near Santiago de Compostella was a Series 730 model, one of the most modern in Spanish rail company RENFE’s fleet. They have been in service since June 2012.
The S730 is part of the Alvia service, on which trains run at speeds over 200km/h. It was built by a consortium of Spanish intercity passenger train maker Talgo and the train division of the Canadian company Bombardier.
The S730 has hybrid propulsion, being equipped with both electrical and diesel power. The train can reach 250km/h in electrical mode, and 180km/h using its diesel engine.
Credit photo : @Kabelleger