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WATFORD, England-The driver of a passenger train that collided with another train last year is being charged with manslaughter and endangering the safety of passengers, according to British Transport Police.

Peter Afford, 56, from Bushey, Hertfordshire, was driving the North London Railways train when it collided with another train last August, leaving one woman dead and more than 70 passengers injured (BI, Aug. 19, 1996; Aug. 12, 1996).

The criminal charges come after several investigations into the accident conducted by the police; North London Railways; Railtrack P.L.C., which is responsible for the rail infrastructure; and the Health and Safety Executive.

None of the accident reports will be published until after the court proceedings, spokesmen for the various organizations confirmed.

Details of the case, including Mr. Afford's alleged offenses, also will not be released until the court proceedings due to begin in April, said a police spokesman.

Spokesmen from the rail companies, HSE and the Crown Prosecution Service could not recall any other incident where a train driver has been charged with manslaughter as a result of a fatal train accident.

The last year has seen an increase in the number of manslaughter charges brought in work-related accidents (BI, March 11, 1996; Sept. 12, 1996).