RIYADH — An informed security source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, denied former statements made by some sources in the Saudi Railways Organization (SRO) claiming that cable theft was to blame for the derailment of the Riyadh-bound train on June 28.
The train, traveling along the country’s only passenger rail link, derailed 70 km east of Riyadh. Three hundred thirty-two passengers were on board and 35 were injured.
Technical matters caused the accident, the source added. He told an Arabic daily that SRO investigations revealed that the no railway cables had been stolen.
“It is highly likely that technical problems had to do with the accident; the technical committee, which was formed, will investigate the matter,” he said.
Muhammad Bohaliqa, acting director of publications at SRO, said no one died in the accident which resulted in the suspension of all trains to Riyadh. Passengers who had already bought tickets had been issued full refunds, he added.
Earlier, sources in the SRO had claimed that the accident took place because railway cables had been stolen by unknown persons.
The operating and communication systems were disrupted and the train could not change its route on time.
The same sources said SRO investigators interrogated the train’s conductor and his assistant were in contact with the control room in Dammam and were following instructions.
According to the conductor, the train was traveling at a normal speed when he noticed that it was not on the right track. The train overturned before he could do anything. — SG