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Dozens Die as Spanish Train Derails

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#1 Sir Topham Hatt

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 15:14

Surprised this isn't here yet...

 

Dozens die as Spanish train derails in Galicia

 

A train has derailed in north-western Spain, killing at least 77 of its 218 passengers and injuring more than 100, officials in the Galicia region say.
 
All eight carriages of the Madrid to Ferrol train came off the tracks near the city of Santiago de Compostela.  Media reports say the train may have been travelling at more than twice the speed limit around a curve.  Officials have not commented on the cause. Analysts say it is the worst train accident in Spain in 40 years.
 
Spain generally has a relatively good record in terms of rail safety, says the BBC's Tom Burridge.  This is a country which has invested huge amounts of money in its rail network, he says.

 
Spain's last major rail disaster was in 1972 when 77 people were killed in a derailment in Andalusia in the south.
 

Railway firm Renfe said the train came off the tracks on a bend about 3 or 4km (2-2.5 miles) from Santiago de Compostela station at 20:41 local time (18:41 GMT).  It was on the express route between Madrid and the ship-building city of Ferrol on the Galician coast.  Renfe says it and the track operating company Adif are collaborating with a judge appointed to investigate the accident.  Government officials said they believed the crash was an accident, but that no statement would be made regarding the cause without a proper investigation.
"We are moving away from the hypothesis of sabotage or attack," one unnamed official said.
 

Source - BBC

 

 

Video contains footage of derailment.

 

 

Train Driver Boasts About Speed on Facebook

 

One of the drivers of a Spanish train that careered off the tracks and smashed into a concrete wall, killing at least 80 people, had previously boasted about speeding on his Facebook page.

 

On Thursday night, the Spanish media published excerpts from Mr Garzon’s Facebook page as speculation mounted that human error was to blame for the tragedy.
In one posting, he was alleged to have said: “It would be amazing to go alongside police and overtake them and trigger off the speed camera.” The comments were posted beneath a photograph of a train’s speedometer clocking 200 km/h (124 m/h).
 
“Ha ha ha, That would be a lovely fine for Renfe (the state-owned train company).”
 
One of his friends commented: “You are going way too fast – Braaaaaaake!!”
 
Other media reports suggested that in the aftermath of the crash, Mr Garzon shouted into a phone: “I’ve derailed! What do I do?”.
 
One of the drivers is said to have admitted to rail officials that the train was travelling at 190 (km/h - 118m/h) in the moments before the accident. The service, from Madrid, was reportedly running late at the time.  Investigators were last night trying to establish why the train was going so fast and why security devices to keep speed within permitted limits had not worked.

 

Source - The Telegraph

 

 

Train Driver Says "I f***ed up and want to die"

 
The driver in the Spanish train crash which killed at least 78 said he “f***ed up” and wanted to die in the aftermath of the disaster, it is reported today.  The transcripts emerged as cops detained driver Francisco Jose Garzon Amo to be questioned “as a suspect for a crime linked to the cause of the accident.”
 

Police also seized the train’s two black boxes to shed light on why it was speeding at almost 120mph on a 50mph curve where it derailed.
 
In a panicked message moments before impact, sources say Francisco Jose Garzon radioed officials to tell them: “I’m 190(km/h).”  That is 118mph — on a sharp bend with a speed limit of just 50.  The driver’s alleged admission came as an online boast about his speeding was found on his Facebook page posted just months ago.
 
The loco and eight carriages exploded in a cloud of smoke and debris — crushing passengers underneath. Minutes later Garzon, 52, called for help again, saying he was trapped in his cab.
 

He is said to have told operators: “We are all human beings! We are all human beings! I hope no one was killed because it will be on my conscience.”
 
The driver, who is under formal investigation, was in custody in hospital last night as experts examined the train’s black box recorder — which confirmed the train had been travelling at 118mph.
 
The Sun also has a video showing how fast a train should be travelling round that particular curve.

 

 

 

Train Driver Formally Detained

 

The driver, who was injured and is under guard in hospital, is accused of "crimes related to the accident", they say.  There are reports that the train was travelling at more than double the speed limit at the time of the crash.
 
The police chief in the Galicia region, Jaime Iglesias, said on Friday that driver Francisco Jose Garzon Amo would be questioned "as a suspect for a crime linked to the cause of the accident".  He added that Mr Garzon could not yet testify because of his medical condition.
 
At least 130 people were taken to hospital, with 78 pronounced dead after the accident near the north-western city of Santiago de Compostela, and 95 are still being treated.  The 32 seriously injured include children. People from several nationalities are among the wounded, including five Americans and one Briton. One American was among the dead.
 
On Thursday junior transport minister Rafael Catala said early indications suggested the train had been going too fast.  The Madrid to Ferrol train's data recording "black box" is now with the judge in charge of the investigation.  It is unclear whether anyone else is subject to investigation.
 
The president of railway firm Renfe, Julio Gomez Pomar, was quoted by El Mundo newspaper as saying the 52-year-old driver had 30 years of experience with the company and had been operating trains on the line for more than a year.  He said the train which derailed had no technical problems.  Renfe said the train came off the tracks about 3 or 4km (2-2.5 miles) from Santiago de Compostela station at 20:41 local time (18:41 GMT) on Wednesday.  It was on the express route between the capital, Madrid, and the port city of Ferrol on the Galician coast, with 218 passengers on board and four crew.
 

Source - BBC  |  BBC's What Happened




#2 +warwagon

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 15:20

Just saw the video on youtube. ... .118 MPH .... that's a hell of a thing!



#3 spenser.d

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 16:02

 

Surprised this isn't here yet...

 

I mean, it didn't have the royal baby on it, so why would anyone care? /s



#4 neohelp

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 16:03


Surprised this isn't here yet...
 
Same thing I thought.....I didn't have time to create the thread.
 
You know the sickest thing?
"Ghetto booty" has 29 replies
Some guy that recused another in a truck crash 158 replies
Mexican Coca-Cola 18 replies
A drunk crosses a river 17 replies
 
And that's just the first page.
 
Ill problably get more replies to this message than to this actual news.


#5 Andre S.

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 16:07

What a ****ing imbecile this driver is - I thought for sure this must have been due to brake malfunction or something. Putting the lives of hundreds at risk for his own amusement.  :angry:



#6 Phouchg

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 16:11

52 years old, working there for 30 years and boasting on Facecrack? Wth... you can't even trust old, experienced geezers to be responsible and deliver you safely :s



#7 +warwagon

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 22:47

 

 
 
Same thing I thought.....I didn't have time to create the thread.
 
You know the sickest thing?
"Ghetto booty" has 29 replies
Some guy that recused another in a truck crash 158 replies
Mexican Coca-Cola 18 replies
A drunk crosses a river 17 replies
 
And that's just the first page.
 
Ill problably get more replies to this message than to this actual news.

 

 

How about

 

"Kevin Rose throws a raccoon down the stairs" 82 Replies and 2,667 views



#8 Radium

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 00:25

It's the driver's fault, but it doesn't end there.
The scenario could have been different.
The train was approaching at high speed, from a stretch of newly built track equipped with ERTMS. Shortly before the curve, ERTMS ends and there is no surveillance of the movement authority for the train.
An old system called ASFA takes over but the speed limit is not enforced in that curve.
If you find the location on the map, it's large curve where two stretches of rail lines join. The straight stretch to the east is the newly (relatively) built track equipped with ERTMS.
This could all have been prevented if the system border between ERTMS and ASFA was strict or ERTMS would have been installed at the curve and the station following the curve, which was planned but wasn't done due to the sudden lack of funding. Due to the prestige project that the high speed rail project is, they made a half assed implementation of ERTMS and ASFA.

I drive trains in Sweden and to Copenhagen in Denmark.
This can not happen here. We have ATC deployed along all tracks and the border between Swedish and Danish ATC is strict and well implemented. The two systems are of two different generations and are designed by two unrelated companies but they have managed to get a very safe solution. We switch ATC systems all full speed on the fly (up to 200 km/h). It's seamless with full pre-signaling over the system border.

Criticize the driver, yes, but there is more to it than that.
The safety is too low. Something has to be done to the lack of competence that caused to complete lack of movement authority surveillance. ERTMS could easily have been made to enforce the speed limit of 80 km/h just prior to disabling itself.
I am stunned by how it all has passed safety inspections. 200 km/h and ERTMS just ends without applying speed restrictions.
The derailment could have been prevented!!!

#9 Shiranui

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 01:44

Negotiation of curves like that should not be the responsibility of the driver.

Japan had a crash a few years ago where 107 people died because of a dopey driver failing to slow down on a sharp curve. After that, the railway company fitted automatic deceleration systems to all curves of a certain radius.

High speed trains should be automatic, like the Shinkansen, with the "driver" being there mainly just to open and close the doors, monitor the equipment and override the autopilot in the even of damage to or obstruction of the track.



#10 Enron

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 01:52

Negotiation of curves like that should not be the responsibility of the driver.

Japan had a crash a few years ago where 107 people died because of a dopey driver failing to slow down on a sharp curve. After that, the railway company fitted automatic deceleration systems to all curves of a certain radius.

High speed trains should be automatic, like the Shinkansen, with the "driver" being there mainly just to open and close the doors, monitor the equipment and override the autopilot in the even of damage to or obstruction of the track.

 

Automatic? Then what fun would I have playing Densha de Go!?



#11 .Markus

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 02:21

Most probably the train driver will be turned into the scape goat, as is normally the case with big corporations where no one wants to take actual responsibility for these easily preventable security flaws. The driver does hold some blame however, as he's been doing this stretch many times before and should've been aware of the great deceleration which was needed.

Hopefully, and probably, Spanish authorities will be looking into the safety systems (ATC or ERTMS) get implemented on all major rail lines throughout the country so this doesn't happen again..



#12 Radium

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 10:55

The driver carries the full responsibility but it is insane to have that responsibility without assistance from any type of ATC at those speeds.
ERTMS is there and could've been used to limit the speed.
It would result in 80 km/h limit starting earlier and a slower approach but it would only make sense. It would be a temporary solution until ERTMS covers the whole curve and station.

ETCS is the signaling part of ERTMS. There are videos about it online.

A total of 79 people have died.
Driver has been released on bail and has turned in his passport.

This could all have been prevented! I can't put enough emphasis on that!

#13 OP Sir Topham Hatt

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 17:01

Update...

 

Driver "On the phone" at time of crash

 

The train driver in last week's crash in Spain was talking on the phone when it derailed, investigators say.  Francisco Jose Garzon Amo was speaking to members of staff at the state-owned railway company, Renfe, they added.
 
Crash investigators had opened the train's "black-box" data recorder to find the cause of the crash, which left 79 people dead.  Moments before the accident the train was travelling at a speed of 192km/h (119mph), the court said in a statement.  Investigators say the brakes were activated shortly before the crash.  The speed limit on the sharp bend where the train derailed was set at 80km/h (49mph).
 
"Minutes before the train came off the tracks he received a call on his work phone to get indications on the route he had to take to get to Ferrol. From the content of the conversation and background noise it seems that the driver consulted a map or paper document," a court statement said.
 
Mr Garzon is suspected of reckless homicide, but he has not yet been formally charged.  He was released from custody in Santiago de Compostela, where the crash occurred, on Sunday but remains under court supervision.  He must appear before a court once a week and was not allowed to leave Spain without permission.  His passport has been surrendered to the judge and his licence to drive a train has been suspended.  Under Spanish law, his legal status is that he is suspected of being involved in 79 counts of reckless homicide but has not been formally charged.  But officials said he had admitted negligence by being careless when rounding a bend too fast.

 
All eight carriages of the train careered off the tracks into a concrete wall as they sped around the curve on the express route between Madrid and the port city of Ferrol on the Galician coast.
 


#14 Growled

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 18:16

I guess we can safely say now that the driver is completely at fault.



#15 Radium

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 19:56

I guess we can safely say now that the driver is completely at fault.

Yes, but it's more than just that.
Getting work related phone calls happens but it's no good.
It's the driver's fault, yes.
I'm a train driver myself and knowing that this could all have been prevented with ASFA or ERTMS just makes me mad at the incompetence at the signal project.
It all boils down to money.
Another detail that has been revealed is that the train type in the accident doesn't have been certified for ERTMS (onboard ETCS equipment not certified) and was disabled for that reason.
ASFA was in use, but I don't know how ASFA works at that place and if the tracks where the train came from had both ERTMS and ASFA at the same time.