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CAIRO — Eight railway workers are on trial in Egypt, in connection with an accident in which two trains collided last month, killing 18 people and leading to the resignation of Egypt's Minister of Transport.
Chief Prosecutor General of Giza Hamada El Sawy stated that, "The trial for those responsible for the Al-Ayyat train accident began Nov. 16. The suspects have been charged with causing the deaths of 18 people due to negligence."
The accident took place on Oct. 24, when a passenger train travelling at full speed from Cairo to Asyut crashed into another train near Al-Ayyat, causing the deaths of 18 people and injuring many others. The first train stopped after hitting a water buffalo that was crossing the tracks. Twenty minutes passed before the conductor informed the authorities about the unscheduled stop.
The eight railway workers on trial face charges of negligence in the collision of the two trains, in addition to charges of involuntary manslaughter.
The investigation into the accident found that a signalman left work early and did not warn drivers about the delay caused by the water buffalo on the tracks. One of the conductors is also being charged with drug abuse, as traces of hashish were found in a sample of his blood.
The Prosecutor General allowed the technical investigation commission to disclose to the public that it had would have been possible for the driver of the second train to avoid the accident if the eight men on trial had been working to required standards.