Police Lower Death Count in Spain Crash to 78

Updated: 07/26/2013 6:14 AM KSTP.com By: Scott Theisen



Police scientists examining the remains of those killed in Spain's worst train crash in decades lowered the death count from 80 people to 78 on Friday and said the count could change as they continue their work identifying body parts and associating them with others.
    
Investigators, meanwhile, have taken possession of the "black boxes" of the train, which hurtled at high-speed along a curve and derailed, court spokeswoman Maria Pardo Rios said Friday. The boxes record train's trip data, including speed and distances and braking and are similar to flight recorders for airplanes.
    
The revised death toll came as forensic scientists matched body parts with each other at a makeshift morgue in Santiago de Compostela, in the northwestern Galicia region, where the train crashed Wednesday just as it was entering the outskirts of the city, said Antonio de Amo, the police chief in charge of the scientific service for Spain's National Police.
    
De Amo said police are still working to identify what they believe are the remains of six people.
    
The train's operator remained hospitalized Friday and will be questioned by police but Rios said the interview will not happen Friday.
    
Analysis will be performed to determine why the train was traveling far above the speed limit when it crashed near a station in Santiago de Compostela, Rios said. She declined comment on how long the analysis will take.
    
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Clendenning reported from Madrid. Ciaran Giles contributed from Madrid.

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