Egypt's train accidents: when will we stop counting?



Sat, 12 Aug 2017 - 11:51 GMT


Sat, 12 Aug 2017 - 11:51 GMT

Two trains collided in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria, Friday August 11, 2017, leaving more than 20 dead and dozens injured - Photo by Asmaa Badr

Two trains collided in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria, Friday August 11, 2017, leaving more than 20 dead and dozens injured - Photo by Asmaa Badr

CAIRO- 12 August 2017: In one of the worst train collisions in Alexandria, 42 people were killed and more than 130 injured on Friday. The collision took place in the Khorshid district of the Mediterranean city Alexandria, where two passenger trains, coming from Cairo and Port Said, crashed.

President Abel Fatah al-Sisi, immediately following the accident, stated that “Everyone responsible for the accident will be questioned and punished.”

Sisi affirmed that the all of the state’s entities and bodies will work to offer the needed care for the victims and their families, and that all of the culprits will be punished.

Transportation Minister Hisham Arafat on Friday ordered two railway officials and two control tower operators to be suspended from work after the train accident.

This is considered the third major train crash in Alexandria during the last ten years.

Back in October 1998, around 50 died and more than 80 were injured in a derailment just south of Alexandria.

In November 1999, a train travelling between Cairo and Alexandria hit a truck and derailed, killing 10 and causing 7 injuries.

Egypt as a whole has a history of train accidents over the past 15 years. Egypttoday provides details of five major train crashes in Egypt:

February 2002: 300 people died while travelling from Cairo to Aswan in the south. This accident was caused by a fire that swept through an overcrowded train. It is considered the worst disaster to hit the country's railway system in the past 25 years.The transportation minister at the time was forced to resign as a result.

August 2006: At least 58 people were killed and 143 injured when two passenger trains heading to Cairo from the Nile Delta towns of Mansoura and Benha collided.

October 2009: Two trains collided in the el-Ayat area, leaving 30 killed and many others injured. The first train had broken down and was rear-ended by the second. Transport Minister Mohammed Lutfi Mansour resigned three days after the accident.

November 2012: A school bus was hit by a train in central Egypt, and 50 children, aged four to six years old, and the driver of the bus were killed. This accident happened near Manfalut, 350km (230 miles) south of Cairo. The transport minister resigned in the wake of the accident.

January 2013: A military train derailed, killing 19 and injuring more than 100. The train, which was heading to Cairo from Assuit and carried new recruits of the Egyptian Central Security Forces, derailed in the Egyptian city of Badrashin.

According to the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) in 2016, Egypt has witnessed an average of 1,041 train accidents on an annual basis in the last 12 years.

A total of 13,539 train accidents occurred between 2004 and 2016, reports CAPMAS, citing numbers released by the National Railway Authority of Egypt.



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