Passengers wait for their train near a damaged train carriage after a bomb exploded at Ramses railway station in downtown Cairo November 20, 2014. (File photo: Reuters)
CAIRO - 28 February 2019: Cabinet spokesman Nader Saad said that LE 56 billion ($3.2 billion) have been allocated from 2014 to 2020 to develop railways nationwide. The remarks came a few hours after 20 people were killed in Ramses Railway Station's blaze.
The state has purchased 100 locomotives with a cost estimate of LE 11 billion ($627 million), while LE 18 billion ($1 billion) were spent to maintain and develop 1,300 cars, Saad explained.
The state has trained train drivers on dealing with the modern trains, Saad said, adding that the Ramses crash occurred due to negligence.
On Wednesday, a train, with no driver on board, was seen moving at an extremely high speed and crashing into the platform's buffer stop at Cairo's busiest and main railway station, located in Ramses district.
The collision caused the explosion of the fuel tank and triggered a huge blaze, leaving 20 people dead, and 43 injured, according to the health minister's latest remarks. Police ordered taking DNA samples from the dead to know their relatives.
The driver of the Ramses locomotive said he is responsible for the horrific accident.
Saad said no country, even England, the inventor of train, can totally avoid train accidents. British engineer Richard Trevithick is the inventor of the first full-scale working railway steam locomotive. The locomotive was invented in the UK in 1804.
Concerning the resignation of Transportation Minister Hesham Arafat shortly after the accident, Saad denied that Arafat was ordered to resign, stressing that the latter was courageous enough to resign and to confess his political responsibility of the incident.
Arafat has served as Egypt's transportation minister since February 2017.
Mostafa Mahran, director of the Ramses Railway Station, said that the station receives around 500,000 people daily, while in some occasions, it can receive more, affirming that Cairo's busiest station needs extra trains.
In an interview with MBC Masr, Mahran said that as many as 280 trains operate daily at the station.