News24

Train crash: 8 face charges

2009-11-13 11:49

Cairo - Egypt charged eight railway workers with involuntary manslaughter over a train collision last month that killed 18 people outside Cairo, state media said.

The move to put the workers on trial signalled the government's concern with showing accountability amid public anger over the crash, the latest deadly accident on the rails.

The crash last month occurred when a water buffalo wandered onto the tracks north of Cairo and was hit by a passenger train. The train stopped and was then rear ended by a second train going at full speed.

The eight charged by the public prosecutor include the two trains' drivers, their assistants and two track monitors, newspapers reported Friday, citing the public prosecutor.

No trial date was set, but they were all referred to a criminal court on charges of involuntary manslaughter and gross negligence, the state news agency MENA reported late Thursday.

The railway system's poor safety record has long been blamed on badly maintained equipment and poor management. Egypt's worst railway disaster took place in February 2002 when a train heading to southern Egypt caught fire, killing 363 people.

More recently, a passenger train barrelling toward a station collided with a second train in August 2006, killing 58 people.