Spanish train driver was on the phone at time of crash

Workers stand beside the train engines at the site of a train crash in Santiago de Compostela, northwestern Spain, July 26, 2013. 

MADRID - The driver of the train that derailed in northern Spain last week, killing 79 people, was talking on the phone with state train operator Renfe at the time of the accident, a court said on Tuesday after analysing the train's data recording device.

The initial reading of the so-called black box, released by the court investigating the case, also showed the train was travelling at 192 km (120 miles) per hour in the minutes before it derailed in a curve where speed is limited at 80 km per hour.

The eight-carriage train had slowed to 153 km per hour at the time of the crash after a brake was activated seconds before, the black box showed.

Driver Francisco Garzon, 52, was freed from police custody on Sunday pending trial on charges of negligent homicide.

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