Controller denies causing tragic train accident

3rd April 2006, Comments 0 comments

4 April 2006, ALBACETE — A signals controller accused of causing the worst rail accident in Spanish history told a court he could not recall putting a green light on to allow both trains to collide.

4 April 2006

ALBACETE — A signals controller accused of causing the worst rail accident in Spanish history told a court he could not recall putting a green light on to allow both trains to collide.

José Luis Díaz, 41, is alleged to have mistakenly allowed two trains to continue along the same track, smashing into each other and killing 19 people in June 2003.

Forty-eight people also suffered a variety of injuries in the tragedy in Chinchilla near Albacete, in south-east Spain.

Díaz is accused of 19 counts of murder and 48 counts of wounding for "imprudence".

The prosecutor has asked for Díaz to be jailed for two-and-a-half years.

But giving evidence on the second day of the trial, Díaz said he could not recall "at any moment" putting on a green signal light which allegedly caused the fatal crash.

The tragedy happened in 3 June 2003 when a goods train from Murcia to Madrid and a passenger train, carrying 82 passengers, going the other way, collided.

Two minutes before the accident, the passenger train arrived at Chinchilla station.

Díaz is alleged to have given a green signal to the train driver to leave the station "forgetting" that minutes earlier he had given the same signal to the goods train to come along the same track the other way.

By putting the green light on, Díaz had allegedly automatically deactivated the security system designed to  stop accidents like this. 

Díaz denies all charges.

The trial continues.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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