Two men on trial in Spain for fatal train crash in 2013
Two people are on trial in Galicia on Wednesday for a fatal train crash in Spain that killed 80 people.
More than 140 other people were injured when a high-speed train derailed near Santiago de Compostela in July 2013.
An investigation revealed that Alvia train 04155 from Madrid was traveling at 179 km/h on a section of track with a speed limit of 80 km/h.
The train derailed and crashed into a wall four kilometers before reaching the city. It was the worst train disaster in Spain since 1972.
Investigators also discovered that the driver had spoken to the driver on his mobile phone moments before the crash.
The driver and the former director of security for the Spanish rail network (Adif) are on trial for “homicide resulting from gross professional negligence”.
They each face up to four years in prison, while the families of the victims have also requested damages amounting to nearly 58 million euros.
Victims’ associations have accused Adif of using the driver as a scapegoat and failing to use appropriate signaling or automatic shutdown systems.
The company was eventually charged by authorities over the 2016 accident
More than 650 witnesses will testify in the four-month trial, which is expected to last until February. The procedure takes place in a cultural center in Santiago de Compostela, due to the number of lawyers and civil parties.
Nine years after the crash, survivors have also blamed Spain’s former transport minister for the slow pace of the investigation.
Dozens of people demonstrated outside the Spanish parliament on Monday, chanting that they would “continue to fight for justice”.