Forty-six people were injured in the derailment of a train just northeast of Fez on Thursday night. Fortunately nobody was killed and the injured were evacuated to hospitals in Fez to receive the necessary treatment. The injuries were described as relatively minor.
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The train involved in the accident was making the journey from Oujda to Marrakech. The accident happened at 6.45 pm, just prior to the time when passengers were preparing to break their Ramadan fast. The train was due to arrive in Fez at 7pm.
According to news reports the accident took place on a straight section of the line and involved three carriages. First reports say it was caused by the poor condition of the railway lines and lack of maintenance. Passengers on the train expressed their anger at the state of the Moroccan railways.
An investigation has been initiated by the Moroccan National Railways (ONCF).
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MWN has been so close to the incident of the train composed of nine wagons which deviated from its railway of Oujda-Fez line. Four wagons in the middle were capsized, while the second and the eighth stayed full but outside the railway.
The incident that occurred a few minutes before Sunset prayers shocked the inhabitants of the region. The first snippet of news pointed that the incident was caused when the train deviated from its way whilst going in a dangerous zig in Dhar Mehraz forest nearby the American restaurant of fast food (MacDonalds). The victims were immediately transferred to Hassan II hospital in Fez.
People had different views vis-à-vis the dreadful incident. Some of them ascribed it to the bad situation of the railway in this area known for eroded soil due to floods. Others believed that the driver was going at a high speed in the dangerous narrow zig.
As it has heard of the derailment, the local authorities hastened to the site of the incident and prevented the families of the victims from approaching due to safety and security reasons.
The Office National des Chemins de Fer (National Office of Railways) attributed the incident to unknown people who might have damaged the railway.
According to the office, these unknown people might have stolen some bars from the railway, a fact which brought about the deviation of the train. The office condemned such irresponsible act and promised to chase the evil doers.
The same source interviewed added that the security staff working for the ONCF, supported by the local authorities rushed to the site to rescue give the victims.
Investigations are still ongoing to unravel the mystery of the incident.