Preliminary charges including 79 counts of homicide were filed against the Spanish train conductor involved in a deadly derailment last week.
Francisco Jose Garzon was charged on Sunday with homicide by professional recklessness and an unknown number of counts of causing injury by professional recklessness.
At least 79 people died during last week’s crash, which happened in northwestern Spain as the high-speed train was traveling around a curve, reports CNN.
While a court granted the train conductor provisional liberty, it suspended his train driver’s license for six months. He will be required to report to court weekly and had his passport revoked.
While the train conductor appeared in court to face preliminary charges, the death toll from the Spain train derailment rose to 79. Officials and the family of US citizen Myrta Fariza announced that she passed away on Sunday at University Hospital in Santiago de Compostela.
Officials added that 70 people injured in the accident remain in local hospitals, 22 of them in critical condition, notes USA Today. While the Spanish train conductor had been in the hospital under guard since the accident happened, he appeared in court for more than five hours on Sunday.
Meanwhile, the crumpled wreckage of the high-speed train’s eight cars was removed from the tracks. Officials also worked to identify all the victims of the accident. At least 63 of those killed were from Spain, while two were US citizens. Europeans and Latin Americans were also killed in the accident.
Fariza’s family released a statement about her death on Sunday, saying, “Myrta was our loving wife, mother, sister, mother-in-law, aunt and friend, and our words cannot express our sense of loss.”
The regional justice department reported that most of the bodies are being returned to their families as they are identified. DNA testing has been conducted to determine the identities of some remains. Some of the DNA testing is being done on body parts, suggesting horrific injuries the passengers of the train suffered.
The Spanish government is in possession of the derailed trains “black boxes” and are working to determine what could have caused the accident. Speed is certainly being considered as a factor, since the train was going twice the allowed speed when it derailed around a corner.
Are you surprised to hear that the Spanish train conductor was charged with 79 counts of homicide?