This week, We learn about the deadly train accident in Spain’s northwest.
Since the Middle Ages, Christian pilgrims have been coming to the beautiful city of Santiago de Compostela. The city is considered a holy place to Christians from all over Europe and around the world. Santiago de Compostela is said to be the final resting place of Saint James, an early follower of Jesus. Some on the train were planning to attend a festival honoring the saint. The event was to take place the next day.
Reports say the train was traveling too fast. It may have been going more than two times the 80-kilometer-per-hour speed limit when it reached a curve near the city and derailed. Cars struck other cars, sending wreckage and bodies through the air. At least 79 people died. About 140 people were injured.
Video from a security camera shows the train striking a concrete wall next to the track. Then its first car overturns violently. One survivor described the damage this way.
“My car came ripped apart from the car next to it, and there was nothing there, just a whole in the end of the train car. I walked through it. Someone was helping me. I have no recollection of who it was. If I did I would give them a big thank you.”
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy was born in Santiago de Compostela. Soon after the accident, he returned to the area and visited with some of the injured.
He said, "For a native of Santiago, like me, believe me, this is the saddest saint's day of my entire life.”
Prime Minister Rajoy declared three days of national mourning after the crash.
As people began to investigate what happened, the driver of the train came under suspicion. It quickly became known that the train was traveling at a high rate of speed. By Saturday, investigators were questioning the driver, 52-year-old Francisco Jose Garzon. Within days, he had been charged with 79 counts of reckless homicide because of the train’s high speed at the time of the accident. Mr. Garzon was released on Sunday to face trial at a later date.
The High Court of Galicia says the judge ordered Mr. Garzon to report to the court every week. The suspect is barred from leaving Spain and not permitted to drive a train for six months.
Officials say they have recovered the train’s black box, a device that records speed and other information. Investigators say that the black box shows the driver was on his cellphone at the time of the accident. Spanish officials have opened two investigations of the incident. Judicial officials are carrying out one while the public works department is performing another.
The train accident is one of the deadliest in Spanish history.
“Who knows what evil lurks in the heart of men? The Shadow Knows!”
On July 31st, 1930, “The Shadow” was first broadcast in the United States. The show was on CBS radio. It told crime and suspense stories that kept Americans listening carefully to their radios.
At first, the Shadow was simply the program’s announcer. But later, he became a character in the series, also known as Lamont Cranston. Who was the first Shadow? A young actor named Orson Wells.
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