File Photo: Egypt's general prosecutor Hamada al-Sawy (Photo: Al-Ahram)
Egypt’s prosecutor-general ordered on Monday the detention of the two drivers of the trains that collided in Sohag on Friday, resulting in the death of 18 people and the injury of 200, pending investigation into the fatal crash.
The prosecutor-general also ordered the detention of the drivers’ assistants and the El-Maraghah railways station supervisor along with the head and two monitors at the central supervision unit in Assiut.
According to the prosecution's statement on Monday, on 26 March two trains collided besides the Senussi Level crossing at Sawamah village, Tahta, in Sohag governorate.
Preliminary inspection of the crash site on Friday revealed that the Aswan-Cairo train crashed into the back of the Luxor-Alexandria train while it was standing beside the level crossing, which led passenger cars in both trains to flip over and derail.
Eighteen people were killed and 200 injured, including children. Human remains were found on site as well, the prosecution's statement read.
The prosecution listened to the testimonies of 133 injured people in the hospitals of Sohag and Assiut governorates as well as others who testified in front of the prosecution in Qena and Luxor governorates.
It also recorded the testimonies of 10 officials in the Egyptian Railways Authority in Middle Upper Egypt Zone, police personnel assigned to secure the two trains, the workers at the level crossing, and the conductors of the trains.
The prosecution announced that it had held simulations for the two trains’ walkthrough, listened to the communications between the drivers and the control centre, and conducted drug tests for the drivers.
The prosecution assigned a five-member fact-finding committee it formed on Friday to determine the technical causes of the crash.