Investigations Into Sohag Train Accident Reveal Negligence and Drug Use

Egypt’s Public Prosecution stated that the drivers and co-drivers of the two trains that collided in Sohag on March 26th are responsible for the accident. The investigation revealed that the assistant driver of the train that made an unscheduled stop, and an employee at a signal tower near the spot used drugs. The deadly accident resulted in the death of 20 people, the injury of 199 others, and a financial loss worth more than LE 25.8 million.

During the investigations, findings in the report were somewhat contradicting. The railway authority had declared that the first train stopped because someone pulled the emergency brake. However, passengers and railway employees who were on board told investigators that they did not hear the noise that they normally hear when the emergency brake is pulled. Nevertheless, the report did not state why the train made an abrupt, unscheduled stop. That being said, the head of the central control unit in Assiut, the unit responsible for monitoring the train, left his office prior to the timing of the accident, and left two employees in place, but the two of them were rather careless. Out of these two, one was late in alerting the incoming train about the other train that stopped, whilst the other one claimed to have tried reaching the driver of the incoming train by telephone twice, but records showed he did not make those calls.

"النيابة العامة" تعلن نتائج التحقيقات في حادث تصادم قطارين بسوهاج

Posted by ‎Egyptian Public Prosecution النيابة العامة المصرية‎ on Sunday, April 11, 2021

As for the train driver and his assistant, they claimed that they were present at the wheel at the time of the crash. Yet, they had contradicting statements. While the driver said he could see the other train when he was 100 meters behind it only, the assistant told investigators that light signals remained green until he could see the other train 500 meters ahead.

After multiple simulations, investigators concluded that the approaching train could have stopped nearly 500 meters before the crash site, preventing the tragic accident in Sohag, if the driver had paid attention to the red light.

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