Over 100 passengers were stranded in Spain after their train driver left his post mid-route because he had reached the legal limit on the number of hours he could work, officials said Wednesday.
The train stopped in the northern village of Osorno at 9:15pm on Tuesday, two hours after it left Santander for Madrid because the driver said he had "exceeded the hours of his shift", state-run operator Renfe said in a statement.
Under Spanish law, train drivers are not allowed to work for more than six straight hours to prevent fatigue and avoid accidents.
But when the train arrived at Osorno, there was no other driver available to take over, said Carlos Segura, spokesman for the Semaf train drivers union.
"It is not because he decided to leave to go home," he added.
Renfe hired two buses and a taxi to take the 109 stranded train passengers to their final destination.
The company said it had opened an investigation into the incident. It apologised to the passengers concerned, and said their fares will be reimbursed.