Egypt’s Public Prosecutor ordered, on Monday, the arrest of eight employees, involved in the train collision in Sohag governorate, including the trains’ drivers.
The arrestees also include the drivers’ assistants and the El-Maraghah railway station supervisor, along with the head and two observers at the Assiut Control Room.
The incident, which saw the collision of two trains, resulted in 19 deaths and 185 injured, with the arrests made pending investigation into the serious crash.
The Public Prosecution revealed that it had seen a video clip from the main control panel, showing warning lights at the location of the distinctive train stopping and the arrival of one of the trains.
The prosecution indicated it has gathered statements from 130 of those injured in the incident, including those in hospitals in the governorates of Sohag and Assiut.
It also heard from others who appeared before the prosecution in the governorates of Qena and Luxor, where they gave further information about the circumstances of the accident.
The prosecution noted that it has listened to the testimonies of 10 officials with the Egyptian National Railways Authority (ENRA) for central Upper Egypt, alongside statements from the three policemen appointed to secure the two trains.
The prosecution also listened to radio conversations between the No. 157 train driver and the Assiut Control Room, and between the Control Room and the tow monitoring towers between Tahta and Maragha stations – where the accident occurred – to identify their timings in relation to the timing of collision.
Moreover, the prosecution received the results of the drug tests conducted for train drivers, their assistants, and the observers in monitoring towers.
The Public Prosecutor entrusted the five-member investigation committee, which was formed earlier, to check whether the area between Maragha and Tahta stations – the accident scene – is considered part of the areas of disengagement from the projects for developing signalling systems, and whether this area is subject to the executive decision issued by the ENRA to operate automatic control devices when driving on railways that are not equipped with this control system.
Egypt’s Public Prosecution will continue to announce in subsequent statements the investigation measures it will take into the accident, and then announce final results.