Cairo (AP) -Egyptian prosecutors said on Sunday that they discovered that a gross negligence by railroad employees was behind a fatal train wreck that caused public protests across the country. Drugs are also said to have been involved.
The March 26 crash of two passenger trains in Sohag, about 440 kilometers (270 miles) south of Cairo, is the latest in a series of fatal railroad accidents in Arab’s most populous country. was. At least 18 people were killed and 200 were injured, including children.
The prosecution last month ordered the detention of eight railroad personnel, including two train drivers, their assistants, a traffic control director in neighboring Asyut, and three traffic control guards.
The findings, released Sunday in a detailed prosecution statement, allege that the driver and his assistant had disabled the Automatic Train Control System (ATC) before the collision. The ATC system is a mechanism that guides the safe operation of trains and involves speed control.
Prosecutors also claim that tower guards were smoking hashish and train driver assistants were using hashish and the opioid painkiller tramadol. The statement did not elaborate on whether the drug influenced decision-making at the time of the crash.
The prosecution said the crash had not yet completed the investigation.
Train accidents and accidents are common in Egypt. In Egypt, the equipment of the railway system was poorly maintained and poorly managed.
Hundreds of train accidents are reported each year. In February 2019, an unmanned locomotive collided with a barrier inside Cairo’s main Ramses station, causing a major explosion and fire. Due to the crash, the then Minister of Transport resigned.
The most deadly train wreck in Egypt was in 2002, when a night train from Cairo to southern Egypt broke out, killing more than 300 people.