Head of Government Saad Eddine El Othmani commented on the October 16 accident during the weekly government council on Thursday in Rabat.
El Othmani said that a judicial investigation is underway to determine the real causes of the “tragic derailment of a train on Tuesday in Bouknadel, and to establish responsibilities.”
However, El Othmani’s announcement tells the public nothing new. The public prosecutor of Rabat’s Court of Appeal and the Ministry of Interior had already opened an investigation at the request of King Mohammed VI on Tuesday.
Talking about the investigation, El Othmani said that it should “establish responsibilities and draw lessons.” He added that “he was in direct contact with the ministers of interior and equipment, transport, logistics, and water.”
Describing the accident as “tragic,” El Othmani finally expressed official condolences to the families of the victims and wished a speedy recovery for the injured passengers.
The accident claimed the lives of 7 people and injured at least 125 people on Tuesday.
ONCF Director Rabie Khlie told journalists that the cause of the accident might have been a technical issue. However, the public is still waiting for the result of investigations to be revealed, especially after the leaking of an audio recording of a phone conversation between ONCF workers.
In the recording, some workers implied that train drivers accelerated far above the speed limit for the area where the train derailed.
Workers also said that they have complained since Friday, October 12, to ONCF about a problem on that stretch of track, but the company did not properly communicate the lowered speed limit.
Tuesday’s accident was the third train accident in 2018.
On January 13, a train coming from Settat, a town near Casablanca, crashed into a light pole at the Casablanca Port train station.
On February 17, a deadly crash involving a freight train and a personnel transport vehicle killed at least 6 people and injured 14.