Morocco train driver charged with involuntary homicide over crash

The site of the train derailment at the town of Bouknadel, Morocco, on Oct 16, 2018.
The site of the train derailment at the town of Bouknadel, Morocco, on Oct 16, 2018.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

RABAT (AFP) – The driver of a passenger train that derailed killing seven people and injuring 125 in Morocco a week ago was charged on Tuesday (Oct 23) with involuntary homicide, a prosecutor said. 

The driver – who faces five years in prison on charges that also cover injuring people – has been referred to a court in the town of Sale near the capital Rabat, and will appear under arrest, the Sale prosecutor added. 

The “excessive” speed of the train, which was travelling at 158 kmh at the moment of the accident instead of the 60 kmh limit, caused its derailment, the prosecutor said. 

The high casualty toll, spectacular images of the derailment and an initial silence by national rail company ONCF in the first few hours after the accident caused anger in Morocco. 

Seven of those hurt received serious injuries and a Frenchman was among those who died in the Oct 16 accident around 20km north of Rabat.