Spanish state rail bosses must testify over train crash

Reuters News
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Posted: Sep 10, 2013 11:41 AM

MADRID (Reuters) - A judge investigating Spain's worst train accident in decades has ordered the current chairman of state rail company Adif and his two predecessors to testify to his inquiry, according to a court order published on Tuesday.

Judge Luis Alaez had already put safety officials at Adif under formal investigation after a train crashed on the outskirts of Santiago de Compostela in the northwestern region of Galicia in July, killing 79 people.

While Alaez has named speed as the main cause of the accident, he wrote in the court order that the Adif bosses and board members must prove they did their job to ensure safety since the high-speed line was opened in December, 2011.

No one at Adif was available for comment.

The train derailed and slammed into a concrete wall after approaching a curve at more than double the speed limit on that piece of the track.

Driver Francisco Garzon, 52, has been charged with negligent homicide and released without bail pending trial.

(Reporting by Tracy Rucinski; Editing by Fiona Ortiz and Ralph Boulton)