Train derailment in Morocco due to excess of speed

Prosecutor says derailed train was travelling at 158 km per hour - well over 60 km speed limit, driver is detained.

CASABLANCA — A train that crashed in Morocco on Oct. 16, killing at least seven people, was travelling at more than twice the speed limit on the part of the track where it derailed, a regional prosecutor said.

The crash, in which 125 other passengers were injured, occurred on a busy coastal line about 15 km (10 miles) north of the capital Rabat.

The train, which connected Kenitra to Rabat and the commercial hub of Casablanca, was travelling at 158 km (98 miles) per hour - well over the 60 km speed limit, the prosecutor told a court in Sale near Rabat.

The driver has been arrested.

No reasons for the speeding have been given. The driver is in custody and faces homicide and other charges.

An audio discussion between the state-owned train company’s (ONCF) agents emerged last week on social network detailing the causes of the derailment of the train. According to the recording, the train would have derailed because of a technical problem that an ONCF agent reported October 12.

But ONCF denied last week the claims.

"The train was examined and specialised technical teams examined the rails after these reports, without detecting any anomaly,” said ONCF in a communiqué.

The train wreckage has been cleared and service on the line partially resumed.