File Photo: Egyptian Public Prosecution building.
Eight children were killed in Al-Sawalem village in Shubrakheet city in northeastern Beheira as a tricycle vehicle they were in overturned and sank into a canal in the early hours of Saturday.
The eight children, whose ages ranged from 12 to 15-years-old, died while returning from work in a factory five kilometres away from their home at around 2am.
In a statement on Saturday, the prosecution said it detained the tricycle driver, 19, who caused the drowning of the eight children due to his “recklessness and lack of caution.”
The prosecution also detained another man for human trafficking and employing the children although they are under the legal working age. The children’s relatives told the prosecution that they sent their children to work to help their families economically.
The driver did not carry a driving licence and used the vehicle contrary to its intended purpose, the prosecution said, noting that the tricycle carried 12 people, including the eight children.
The driver said he was surprised while driving the children home by another vehicle coming from the opposite direction, which caused him to lose control of the vehicle, ending up in the canal.
Police investigations, however, said the driver lost control of the vehicle after it hit a pothole in the road, the prosecution noted.
Hundreds of people in the governorate have gathered to bid farewell to the deceased before their burial.
The accident has caused sorrow and uproar among people of the governorate and on social media with users calling the deceased children “the breadwinning victims.”
“They tried to run from poverty and they crashed into death,” one user said on Twitter.
While the state has upgraded and paved thousands of kilometres worth of roads nationwide, many roads, especially in the countryside, are still unpaved.