Egypt’s transportation minister Hesham Arafat accepted on Sunday the resignation of the head of the railway department Medhat Shousha, two days after a train collision in Alexandria killed 41 people and injured 179, Al-Ahram Arabic news website reported.
On Friday, a train travelling from Cairo to Alexandria crashed into the rear of another train en route to Alexandria from Port Said. The second train was stationary at Khorshid Station when the crash occurred.
Earlier on Sunday, an administrative prosecution suspended eight railway officials, while prosecutors in Alexandria have ordered the 15-day detention of the drivers of the two trains, state-run news agency MENA reported.
On Saturday, the transport minister said the crash was caused by the railway’s manual-operation system and poorly developed infrastructure.
Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-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.”
Egyptians have long complained that successive governments have failed to develop the country’s dilapidated transport network and guarantee basic railway safety standards.
Several deadly railway crashes have taken place in Egypt over the past years.
In 2012, a train ploughed into a school bus south of Cairo, killing 50 people, mostly children.
The country’s worst train disaster took place in 2002, when a fire swept through a passenger train, killing some 360 people.
Source: Ahram online