Human error likely cause of fatal train crash: Transport Minister
The cause of Tuesday’s tragic train collision on the main corridor near Český Brod was probably due to human error. The driver of a passenger train drove through a red stop signal and crashed into a parked freight train, according to Transport Minister Karel Havlíček.
The driver is the only victim of the accident, more than 30 people were injured, four of them seriously. The Rail Safety Inspection Office and police are investigating the accident. The damage will probably be around CZK 55 million crowns. The trains ran around the accident site on one track until 21:00 when traffic resumed on the three-track line.
Today’s accident is the third train crash on Czech railways in a week, all caused by human error. Havlíček thinks that these are not systemic mistakes but individual failures. He wants to educate staff and increase investment in security. The newly formed Railway Safety Commission, which met tonight, also agreed. They are going in the right direction, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said. He said that the state is strengthening the security of crossings, is preparing an ETCS security system and other measures on local lines.
The Railway Authority is preparing an audit of train drivers and their working conditions. It will invite carriers to analyze errors on the tracks. The State Office of Labor Inspection will conduct Labor Code compliance inspections, Labor Minister Jana Maláčová said on Twitter. Employees cannot be overworked, she added.
There is no supervisory body that overseas train drivers to ensure their competence, Ivo Drahotský from the University of Pardubice said on CT. He pointed out that historically train drivers only needed to know a few rail lines. But today, employers are “pushing” them to know the entire country.