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Frustration boils over as defendant gets punched at trial opening for 2013 train crash

The trial of two men accused of causing a major train crash in 2013 descended into chaos on October 5 as one of the defendants was punched outside the courtroom. Court proceedings are underway in Madrid to investigate the 2013 derailment of a train in Santiago de Compostela which killed 80 people and injured 145.

A protestor punched Andrés Cortabitarte, one of the defendants in the case, as he left the courtroom. Survivors and families of victims of the train crash gathered to protest the lack of justice outside. Cortabitarte entered the courtroom by a back entrance to avoid protestors and the press but was confronted by a grieving father as he left.

Cortabitarte, a former rail network employee, and train driver, Francisco José Garzón, are facing trial for their role in the crash and could face up to four years in prison on counts of professional negligence.

The high speed train was travelling at almost 100kph over the speed limit when all thirteen carriages derailed and three were set on fire. More than 700 witnesses will take to the stand during the case which will last several months.

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