Railway Authority chief resigns following Al-Ayyat tragedy

Tamim Elyan
3 Min Read

CAIRO: Head of the Railway Authority, Mahmoud Samy, resigned Tuesday and was replaced by Mostafa Qenawy following a meeting with Minister of Electricity and Power Hassan Younes, temporarily in charge of the Ministry of Transportation.

Qenawy was previously the vice-president for the infrastructure department at the authority.

On a related note, investigations continued with train 152’s assistant driver, Khaled Mahmoud, accused of failure to report the break down of the train to the monitoring tower despite having enough time to do so.

Train 188 hit broken-down train 152 from the back near Al-Ayyat last Saturday claiming 18 lives and injuring 36. Investigations found that there were 25 minutes between the breakdown of train 152 and the crash in which the assistant could have reported the incident and avoided the accident.

Roqa village monitoring tower’s operator said in the investigations that the light bulbs showed that the train stopped moving before reaching its destination so he tried to contact the central monitoring tower in Cairo but the responsible employee wasn’t at his office, so he left a message with his assistant.

The employee was later found to be absent for 30 minutes and didn’t leave anyone in his place and was held in custody under investigation for four days.

Security officials at Sixth of October governorate arrested train 152’s two conductors after they were accused of not putting warning capsules 100 meters behind the train so that the next train would stop automatically.

The two conductors had initially disappeared after the accident, but were later apprehended.

The technical committee formed of three professors from the faculty of engineering, the vice-president of railway authority and a transportation expert moved to the crash scene and started examining the two trains’ black boxes.

Injured passengers were transferred to Nasser Institute while victims were transferred to Zeinhom mortuary.

The Ministry of Solidarity allotted LE 5,000 to the family of each victim and LE 1,000 to injured cases with a total of LE 126,000.

“Sixth of October and Giza’s social solidarity departments were assigned to present all urgent help needed and study the cases of all victims to estimate their needs and their families’ and help them overcome the crisis, The Minister of Social Solidarity Ali El-Moselhi said in a press statement.

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