Pécrot Rail Crash - Causes

Causes

The accident had two main causes. The first was the inexperience of the driver of the train which departed from Wavre. The train had stopped with the driver's cab past the signal, so the driver could not see that the signal was red when he departed. The other cause was the language barrier between the station staff at Wavre and Leuven. Both French and Dutch are official languages in Belgium, and rail staff were only required to speak one. NMBS/SNCB, the Belgian national railway company, admitted that the accident was caused solely by human error. Judge Philippe Ridelle presided the trial and pronounced the sentence.

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