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Spanish train driver out of hospital, in custody

SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA, Spain -- The injured driver of the Spanish train that derailed at high speed, killing 78 and injuring dozens more, was released from the hospital yesterday, but he was still being held in a police station as authorities increasingly focused on his culpability.

Francisco Jose Garzon Amo was to appear before a judge by this evening, a hotly awaited opportunity for him to give his explanation for Spain's deadliest train crash in decades.

The country's railway agency says it was Garzon's responsibility to brake before going into the high-risk curve where the train careered off the rails. It's still not clear whether the brakes failed or were never used, and Garzon has remained mum.

"There is rational evidence to lead us to think that the driver could have eventual responsibility," Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz told reporters at the crash site.

He said Garzon was being held on suspicion of negligent homicide. Authorities had previously said he was detained on suspicion of recklessness.

So far the driver has opted to use his constitutional right to remain silent, "although he may change his mind on that," Fernandez Diaz said.

The wreckage remained near the site yesterday, as passenger trains passed by. -- AP

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