Driver of derailed Spanish train charged with 79 counts of homicide

SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA, Spain, (Reuters) – The driver of a Spanish high-speed train that derailed and killed 79 people was released pending trial on charges of reckless homicide, a judge ruled last night.

Francisco Garzon, 52, had been under arrest since Thursday. He is suspected of driving the train too fast through a tight curve on the outskirts of the northwestern Spanish city of Santiago de Compostela.

Examining Magistrate Luis Alaez formally charged Garzon with “79 counts of homicide and numerous offences of bodily harm, all of them committed through professional recklessness,” the court said in a statement.

In a closed-door hearing before Judge Alaez, Garzon admitted taking the curve too fast, blaming it on a momentary lapse, according to media reports.

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