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Santiago de Compostela derailment, July 2013

Santiago de Compostela derailment
Photo Source: 
"View of disaster seen from the Autopista AP-9" by  Xosema  is licensed under CC BY 3.0

July 2013: Passenger train derails at 111mph in Santiago de Compostela, Spain. 79 passengers died, 140 were injured.

On July 24, 2013 a high speed Avila train with 218 passengers and 4 crew aboard derailed, killing 79 passengers and injuring around 140. The accident occurred on a bend about 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) outside of Santiago de Compostela, Spain. Black box data indicated that the train derailed while traveling at a speed of 179km/h (111 mph) on a section of track where the limit is 80km/h (50 mph).  

The Guardian reported that according to a preliminary investigation the driver was responding to a phone call from the rail company when the crash occurred. In an official statement, the court handling the case said that "minutes before the derailment, [Garzón] received a call on his professional telephone to signal to him the route he had to take on arriving in Ferrol. It appears, from the content of the conversation and the background noise, that the driver consulted a plan or some similar paper document (Hooper 2013, 30 July).“ 



  • Burgen, S. (2014, 8 August). Spanish railway safety under review after Galicia crash, say bosses. The Guardian. Retrieved from the web site on 20 April 2014. 
  • Hooper, J. (2013, 30 July). Spanish train's black boxes reveal driver was on phone to rail firm. The Guardian. Retrieved from web site on 20 April 2014.