Update – A cargo train collided with a bus and a truck at Dahshour railway crossing on Cairo-Fayoum road on Sunday night, leaving 27 dead and 32 injured, according to Ambulance Authority head Ahmed Al-Ansary.
State-owned Al-Ahram reported that the train driver and his assistant were arrested. The crossing guard and a crossing maintenance worker were also arrested. The Giza Prosecution office charged the train driver and the crossing guard and worker with manslaughter, attempted manslaughter and negligence. A delegate from Giza Prosecution office has begun interrogating the injured, Al-Ahram reported.
The Ministry of Transportation issued a statement accusing the bus and truck drivers of breaking into the railway crossing while the train was passing, adding that the crossing’s alerts were working properly before the crash.
The ministry decided to compensate the families of the deceased with EGP 20,000 per casualty.
According to the statement, Minister of Transportation Ibrahim Al-Demairy ordered building a bridge over the Dahshour railway crossing.
Railway Workers Syndicate Chairman Abdel Fatah Fekry also accused the bus driver for the crash in a statement issued by the Egyptian Trade Union Federations.
The Governor of Giza, Ali Abdel Rahman also issued a statement announcing that the governorate would compensate every deceased with EGP 5,000 and every injured with EGP 2,000. The Governor of Fayoum Ali Atteya announced the same compensation.
The Ministry of Social Solidarity also announced compensating the deceased with EGP 5,000 and the injured with EGP 2,000, in a statement in which they also issued condolences for the families of the casualties.
The army spokesman meanwhile issued the army’s condolences to the families of those killed in the train crash.
Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi issued condolences in a statement on Monday, declaring that he and the Ministers of Health and Transportation are keeping an eye on the developments of the crash. El-Beblawi demanded an immediate investigation into the reasons for the crash.
Cabinet spokesman Hany Salah said that the Ministries of Health, Social Solidarity and Transportation along with the Giza Governorate are working closely “to deal with the consequences of the accident.”
Salah revealed that the Railway Authority would compensate the families of the deceased with EGP 15,000 each and the injured with EGP 5,000.
This is the second major train crash under Al-Demairy. In February 2002 during his first stint at the ministry, 361 died in a train fire that broke out in the Giza village of Al-Ayyat. He was removed from his position by Prime Minister Atef Ebeid at the time, but reinstated by El-Beblawi in July 2013.
The Dahshour train comes a year after a train and a school bus collided in the Manfalout village of Assiut that left 51 children dead.
The Egyptian Organisation for Human Rights (EOHR) issued a statement calling the crash a “dangerous violation of the human right to life.” EOHR head Hafez Abuseada demanded in the statement the immediate reformation of the transportation ministry in order to prevent the loss of life caused by train crashes and road accidents. EOHR also demanded setting “deterring sanctions” for those responsible such accidents. The statement also described the accident as a “continuation of governmental negligence.”
Photos by AFP