October 31, 2014
Once crash driver says he did 'everything possible' to stop the train
In his statement to a Federal Court, the driver of the train that collided in the Once station in 2012 killing 51 people and injuring hundreds said he did “everything possible” to avoid the crash and denied alcohol and drug abuses allegations.
“Believe in me because I used the brakes, because I did everything possible to put the brake on the train, everything that was within my reach. I only ask you to please believe me,” Marcos Córdoba told the judges in charge of probing the February 22 2012 tragedy.
Prior to Córdoba’s statements, the tribunal rejected all the nullity petitions filed by the 29 defendants involved in the Once accident.
Almost 25 months after the crash, Judges Jorge Luciano Gorini, Rodrigo Giménez Uriburu and Jorge Alberto Tassara from Federal Court 2 began to assess the evidence against the 29 defendants, who are charged with a variety of crimes ranging from unintentional derailment to corruption. Around 380 witnesses are expected to testify.
Some of the high-profile defendants include former TBA owners Mario, Roque and Sergio Cirigliano, former Transport secretaries Ricardo Jaime and Juan Pablo Schiavi.
Córdoba is charged with driving the train too fast and failing to apply the emergency brakes.
Meanwhile, the ex officials are charged with fraud.
A total of 789 people were injured on that fateful morning of February 22, 2012 when a carriage known as “Chapa 16” of the Sarmiendo line service failed to come to a stop when it was arriving at the Once station. Overcrowded carriages piled on top of one another, leading to tragedy.