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Santiago de Compostela derailment

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On July 24, 2013 an Alvia high speed train, travelling from Madrid to Ferrol, in the north-west of Spain, derailed at high speed on a curve about 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) outside of the railway station of Santiago de Compostela, Spain. Out of the 222 people (218 passengers and 4 crew) aboard, around 140 were injured and 79 died.

The train’s data recorder showed that it was travelling at about twice the posted speed limit of 80 kilometres per hour (50 mph) when it entered a bend in the line. The crash was recorded on a track-side camera which shows all thirteen vehicles derailing and four overturning. On 28 July 2013, the train’s driver Francisco José Garzón Amo was charged with 79 counts of homicide by professional recklessness and an undetermined number of counts of causing injury by professional recklessness.

Data from the train’s black box revealed that 250 m (820 ft) before the start of the curve the train was travelling at 195 km/h (121 mph). In spite of the emergency brakes being applied, the train was still travelling at 179 km/h (111 mph) when it derailed 4 seconds later. That was more than double the speed limit for that curve, which is 80 km/h (50 mph)

The crash was Spain’s worst rail disaster in 40 years, since a crash near El Cuervo, Seville, in 1972.The Torre del Bierzo crash in 1944 remains the deadliest.

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