State decides to charge Israel Railways head

High ranking officials set to be charged with negligence over June 2006 accident which killed 5.

By DAN IZENBERG
October 25, 2007 13:14
1 minute read.
State decides to charge Israel Railways head

Train Wreck 224 channel2. (photo credit: Channel 2 Television)

 
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The Central District Attorney's Office has prepared indictments against four senior Israel Railways officials and the driver of a truck that became stuck on the tracks near Beit Yehoshua and was hit by a train last year, causing the deaths of five passengers, the prosecution said Thursday. Eighty other passengers were injured when the train heading from Tel Aviv to Haifa struck the truck on June 12, 2006. The indictments will be served conditional on the results of hearings to be granted the suspects. The draft indictment is aimed at Israel Railways CEO Ofer Linchevsky; the director-general of operations and infrastructure maintenance, Harel Even; and the national superintendent in charge of traffic arrangements, Yuval Blum. They could be charged with causing death by criminal negligence. The conductor of the train, Yonatan Vadia, may be charged with manslaughter. The driver whose truck became stuck on the tracks is also included in the draft indictment. He is suspected of driving after taking sleeping pills. According to Ynet, the police investigation indicated that top train executives did nothing to provide early warning measures so that conductors would know there was an obstacle on the track. The measures could have included providing a better view of the track ahead, stationing track supervisors and observers at critical locations and the use of electronic devices such as radar or cameras. According to police, train management prevented these measures from being introduced. The managers also knew that the Beit Yehoshua intersection was a particularly dangerous one. The train crash occurred after two trucks collided head-on and one them spun out of control and landed on the tracks. Others in the vicinity extricated the driver from his truck before the train hit it. Three of the train's five coaches overturned in the collision.

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