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Thursday, 17 October 2019

Train maneuvering operator tested positive for 'strox,' no explosives found at scene of Cairo station crash: Prosecution

El Sayed Gamal El Din, Monday 4 Mar 2019
Train crash
Policemen stand guard in front of a damaged train inside Ramsis train station in Cairo, Egypt (AP)
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Egypt's Prosecutor-General Nabil Sadek issued on Monday a report summing up the results of the investigation into last week's deadly train crash in Cairo, which killed 22 people and injured dozens more.

The investigations revealed that no traces of explosive materials were found at the scene, while a train maneuvering operator detained for suspected involvement in the crash tested positive for the potent narcotic “strox.”

The report also revealed that the runaway locomotive was set to its maximum speed of 120km per hour. 

According to the report, the prosecution summoned 38 railways officials, including the head of the Railways Authority, engineers, supervisors, maintenance workers, industrial safety officials, and CCTV supervisors to hear their testimonies on the crash.

The prosecution said that it will continue to issue updates as the investigation progresses.

On Saturday, a Cairo criminal court renewed the detention of six railway workers who were detained pending investigation into their alleged responsibility in the fatal train crash last week.

The defendants include the drivers and assistants of the two trains involved in the crash, as well as a worker tasked with switching junctions and a maneuvering operator on one of the trains.

According to the prosecution, the crash and subsequent blaze took place when a runaway locomotive crashed into the concrete barriers at Cairo’s busiest railway station on Wednesday morning.

Prior to the crash, the driver of the locomotive dismounted, without turning off the engine, to speak with the driver of another second train that had rammed the locomotive from an adjacent line.

When the two trains disengaged, the unattended locomotive moved at maximum speed towards the station until it collided with a concrete barrier at the end of the line and burst into flames.

Transport minister Hisham Arafat resigned hours after the accident.

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