Friday, February 23

The young man arrested for the cable theft that caused chaos on the AVE is released

The judge of El Vendrell (Tarragona) has released with precautionary measures, such as the withdrawal of his passport, the 19-year-old boy who was arrested on Monday for stealing some 600 meters of fiber optic cable, which caused the collapse of the Madrid-Barcelona-Figueres high-speed line and affected thousands of passengers.

As reported by the Superior Court of Justice of Catalonia (TSJC), the judge has withdrawn the young man’s passport and prohibited him from leaving Spain, in addition to ordering his weekly appearance before the court, in an open case for the crimes of havoc and damage .

The theft of some 600 meters of fiber optic cable caused this Monday morning the collapse of the Madrid-Barcelona-Figueres high-speed line, which was inoperative for five hours and affected thousands of passengers, with delays that lasted for the afternoon.

The Mossos d’Esquadra arrested the young man in the Tarragona town of Santa Oliva (Tarragona) and related him to cable theft, since they surprised him in a railway area and were able to recover part of the stolen material.

Train circulation remained suspended between 06:00 and 11:00 due to an incident in the infrastructure between Figueres Vilafant (Girona) and l’Arboç (Tarragona) caused by the cutting and removal of some 600 meters of fiber optic cable and signaling on a section of the road, causing delays and suspensions in more than 20 trips and affecting some 7,2000 passengers.

The suspension of the service throughout the morning generated crowds at the main stations on the line, such as Barcelona-Sants. Although the passengers were successively relocated throughout the afternoon, several of them chose to cancel their trips and look for alternatives such as the plane or the car.

The Mossos recovered part of the stolen material on the high-speed line and are keeping the investigation open in case the detainee had acted together with other people. Adif technicians were able to repair the various fiber optic cable cuts on the two tracks, in a section of about 200 meters around kilometer point 545, between L’Arboç and La Pobla de Montornès, in the province of Tarragona.