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Spanish train operator on cellphone at time of derailment

July 30, 2013 at 3:37 PM   |   Comments

SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA, Spain, July 30 (UPI) -- A passenger train driver was talking on his cellphone when the train derailed at 119 miles per hour and killed 79 people in Spain, investigators said.

Francisco Jose Garzon Amo was at the controls when the train rounded a curve and flew off the tracks. The train operator was talking to fellow workers at the state-owned Renfe railroad company, the BBC reported Tuesday.

Garzon is suspected of reckless homicide in the deaths but prosecutors had yet to officially charge him.

Garzon was released from a Spanish jail Sunday. He remained under court-ordered supervision.

The train's "black box" data recorder has been opened and investigators are sifting through the information that should give them a more concrete explanation for what caused the deadly crash.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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