• Spain's news in English

Santiago train driver apologizes one year on

AFP/The Local · 25 Jul 2014, 10:00

Published: 25 Jul 2014 10:00 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

"I feel a great deal of pain and sorrow," Francisco Jose Garzon Amo, who has been provisionally charged over the accident, wrote in the letter published in daily newspaper La Voz de Galicia.

"It distresses me to think of what words I can say to you, if they will be adequate, if what I say could bother you. All I can do is ask for forgiveness," he added.

The eight-carriage train was hurtling round a bend at 179 kilometres per hour (110 mph), more than twice the speed limit for that stretch of track, when it tore off the rails on July 24, 2013, according to its data recorders. 

Garzon ended a telephone conversation with the on-board conductor 11 seconds before the train flew off the rails and ploughed into a concrete
siding, coming to rest in a mangled heap.

He has been provisionally charged with 79 counts of reckless homicide. The driver has been released under court supervision while the investigation into the crash continues.

"In reality I don't know if what I say or feel could provide you with some relief from your tremendous pain," Garzon added in his open letter.

"You don't know how much I would give for that. The harm you have suffered is so great."

Garzon lived in hiding immediately after the accident but now "does not hide anymore" in the northern city of A Coruna where he looks after his ill mother, daily newspaper El Pais reported.

The judge leading the investigation into Spain's deadliest train accident in decades, Luis Alaez, has blamed excessive speed and a lack of adequate automatic braking systems on the stretch of the track where the train derailed for the disaster.

Story continues below…

He has put 11 officials from state railway company Adif under formal investigation over the accident.

On Tuesday, the regional government celebrations were boycotted by locals of Angrois, who had helped the victims following the crash.

They said the day should be one of remembrance and reflection, and not of celebration , adding that they didn't feel like "heroes".

For more news from Spain, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.es)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Two-headed shark born in Spanish laboratory
Scientists are studying the rare find. Photo: IBIMA / University of Malaga

Scientists at the University of Malaga found the embryo of a shark with two heads and just one body.

Spain under pressure to stop refuel of Russian warships
Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov is due to arrive in Ceuta. Photo: Mil Ru / Wikimedia

Spain is facing international pressure to refuse permission for a Russian warship flotilla to refuel in Ceuta en route to continuing airstrikes against the Syrian city of Aleppo.

Most wanted: Fugitive rapist arrested in Tenerife
Mohammed Jahangir Alam was arrested n Tenerife. Photo: Crimestoppers.

Mohammed Jahangir Alam, one of Britain's most wanted fugitives, who fled the country in 2008 after allegedly raping a woman, was found working in Tenerife.

Spain's Rajoy says king has tasked him with forming govt
Photo: AFP

Spain's king on Tuesday tasked Mariano Rajoy with forming a government, taking the acting conservative prime minister a step closer to power again after a 10-month political deadlock.

Two imams arrested in Ibiza resort over 'Isis support'
The men were arrested in the resort of Sant Antoni de Portmany. Photo: Jose A / Flickr

Two Moroccan imams at a mosque on the Spanish resort island of Ibiza were arrested Tuesday on suspicion of backing the Islamic State group and inciting jihad.

Balearic Islands choose to keep summertime forever
The islands will have longer evenings during winter. Photo: AFP

The Balearic Islands want to keep summertime when the rest of Spain turns the clocks back on Sunday.

  Brazilian had 'uncontrollable desire to kill': Spain police
Francois Patrick Nogueira Gouveia has been charged with murdering his uncle, his wife and their two children. Photo: Guardia Civil.

A Brazilian teenager accused of dismembering his uncle and aunt and killing their two young sons in a grisly crime that shocked Spain had an "uncontrollable desire to kill", police said on Monday.

Man rescued from bin after climbing in to find old clothes
Photo: Policía Local Murcia

Police were called after passersby reported hearing a man calling for help from within a rubbish bin in the Vistabella neighbourhood of Murcia, southern Spain.

Spain faces crucial week as conservatives re-take power
Mariano Rajoy hopes to form a government this week. Photo: AFP

Spain entered a crucial week as acting conservative PM Mariano Rajoy prepared to re-take power, ending ten rollercoaster months without government marked by hope and disillusion.

Eight very creepy Halloween costumes ideas from Spain
Photo: Pan's Labyrinth

Forget flamenco dancers and bullfighters, The Local counts down the freakiest alternative costume ideas to dress up in this Halloween.

Analysis & Opinion
Out of the dark: Five years on from Eta ceasefire
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Spanish 'La Mafia' restaurants banned after Italian complaint
Spain's top court overturns bullfighting ban in Catalonia
Hunt launched for ten most wanted Brit fugitives hiding out in Spain
Napflix: Spaniards launch very boring TV channel for siestas
Madrid parish church faces fine over 'too noisy' bells
Celebrate expat life at Madrid’s THRIVE convention
Fury after kids told to bring their own loo roll to school
Disney announces plans for Don Quixote action movie
Activist tells 8-yr-old matador wannabe with cancer 'just die'
King to make last minute push to avoid third vote in Spain
Amazing photos of Catalonia's 'human tower' contest
What's on in Spain: October 2016
'No way, Jose! You'll never get your hands on our Rock'
Recipe: How to make a classic Spanish tortilla de patatas
Chorizo in paella? Go back to cooking school Jamie Oliver
Spain in eye of a perfect storm after 10 months without govt
Thousands share clips of life for 'Spain in a Day' film
Ten incredible Spain locations for Game of Thrones season 7
Analysis & Opinion
Why moving to Spain could be the best decision of your life
Seven reasons why autumn is the very best season in Spain
Spanish study finds four types of personality. Which are you?
New search underway for civil war grave of poet Lorca
jobs available