Head of Egypt's railway department resigns after deadly train collision

Bruno Cirelli
Agosto 14, 2017

CAIRO-Egypt's transport minister said Sunday that he has accepted the railway authority chief's resignation over a deadly train crash near the coastal city of Alexandria that killed 43 people and injured many more.

On Friday, a train travelling from Cairo to Alexandria crashed into the rear of another train en route to Alexandria from Port Said.

The death toll in Alexandria train crash rose further to 49, according to officials at the scene.

Also on Sunday, prosecutors ordered the detention of four people, including the drivers of the two trains, according to a statement.

Transport Minister Hisham Arafat said "human error" led to the collision but did not elaborate.

Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi has said that those responsible "should immediately be held accountable and shown no leniency, regardless of their positions".

The president urged a quick upgrade of railway infrastructure، including an electronic signal system to be implemented nationwide to "limit this kind of accident and improve passenger safety procedures".

Figures recently released by the state's statistics agency show that 1,249 train accidents took place a year ago, the highest number since 2009, when the figure was 1,577.

In 2012, a train ploughed into a school bus south of Cairo, killing 50 people, mostly children.

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