The 14 defendants charged with negligence in the lawsuit dubbed “Ramses Station Blaze” appear before Cairo Criminal Court’s judiciary panel in the first trial session. July 9, 2019. Egypt Today
CAIRO - 9 July 2019: Cairo Criminal Court held on Tuesday the first trial session of 14 defendants charged with negligence in the lawsuit dubbed “Ramses Station Blaze,” which has caused 31 deaths and 17 injuries on February 27.
The defendants are accused of not abiding by the operation manual, breaching the safety rules, and forging the attendance sheet as the workers in charge of surveillance were absent.
The prosecution called upon the judiciary panel while reciting the arraignment in the trial session to issue a ruling of the maximum penalty stated in the law.
First trial session by Cairo Criminal Court in the lawsuit dubbed “Ramses Station Blaze.” July 9, 2019. Egypt Today
The investigations conducted by the Public Prosecution revealed that train driver Alaa Fathy Abou al-Ghar, 48, messed up the gear and the devices that control the movement of train no.2302 he was driving and disabled the safety appliance. As a result, the train slid after the driver left while keeping it on the movement mode.
The investigations also showed that train driver Ayman al-Shahat, 43, forged the signatures of other drivers and their assistants in the attendance sheet. One of those whose signatures were forged is driver of train no.2305 Ayman al-Ads, 54, who was absent. His signature was forged to show that the team operating the train was complete. Consequently, the train was operated unlawfully.
The Public Prosecution’s arraignment included forgery charges against employee Atef Nasr, 46, who signed twice on behalf of operation observer Mostafa Abdel Hamid, 54, who was absent when the accident occurred.
Head of the Central Administration for Planning and Maintenance, Saad Seoudi, told the prosecution that the trains contain safety systems that work in case of the fainting or death of the driver. He added that there were no notices on any defects in the train that slid.
Seoudi clarified that it is the duty of the driver to check the operation and safety appliance of the train he is driving before departure to ensure there are no defects.