Transport disasters plague Europe; 39 fatalities in Italy, 79 dead in Spain


At least 39 people are reported to have died in a coach accident in Italy four days after a train careered off it's rails in Spain.

Train driver Francisco Garzon Amo has been charged with 79 counts of reckless homicide after admitting his 'carelessness' while driving at high speed around a bend on Wednesday, July 24, in a manoeuvre that led to the train's derailment at a cost of 79 lives with many more injuries. 

Amo, 52, attended a court hearing last night, Sunday, in Santiago de Compostela where he was accused by Judge Luis Alaez of derailing the train. While the Spanish rail agency state brakes should have been applied two and a half miles prior to the bend, there is to be a formal investigation to determine whether this was a technical fault or negligence on the part of the driver, who has been forced to surrender his passport.

The speed limit at the time of the incident should have been 80km/hour yet the train, before it took to the bend, was traveling over twice as fast, at 190km/hr. The train and all eight of it's carriages derailed and crashed into a concrete wall. 

The BBC report that 70 people remain in hospital, with 22 in critical condition.

The tragedy is followed by a coach accident in Italy that has taken 39 lives and is said to be one of the country's worst road accidents for decades.

The coach, traveling at speed, crashed into a number of vehicles before crashing through a barrier and plunging from the viaduct near Avellino, in the Campania region of southern Italy. 

The cause of the accident is, as of yet, unclear, but the Italian Prime Minister - Enrico Letta, who cancelled an official visit of Athens - termed it a 'very sad day for Italy'. 

Of the 50 passengers, many of whom were children, 39 have already died.

While an investigation into the cause of the incident will take place, the coach did pass a routine technical inspection earlier in the year.

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