First Published: 2013-01-15

 

19 killed in Egypt train derailment

 

Train carrying military recruits derails in Giza neighbourhood of Badrasheen, highlighting Egypt’s chronic transport disasters.

 

Middle East Online

By Khaled Dessouki - CAIRO

It is the fifth deadly train accident since Morsi was sworn in as Egypt's President

A train carrying military conscripts derailed southwest of Cairo on Tuesday, killing 19 people and wounding 107, the health ministry said, highlighting the country's chronic transport problems.

The train was taking young recruits from south Egypt to a military camp in Cairo when two carriages went off the rails shortly after midnight in the Giza neighbourhood of Badrasheen, officials said.

More than 60 ambulances were sent to the site of the accident, where rescuers were working to extract survivors and bodies from the twisted heap of metal on the side of the rails.

Prime Minister Hesham Qandeel was met with howls of outrage when he arrived at the scene, with local residents shouting, "You have blood on your hands, Mr. Hesham." His security quickly whisked him away, an AFP photographer said.

The injured have been taken to local hospitals for treatment, the health ministry said.

The accident is the latest in a string of transport disasters plaguing Egypt, and comes just two weeks after a new transport minister was appointed.

According to media reports, it is the fifth deadly train accident since President Mohamed Morsi was sworn in as Egypt's first Islamist president in June.

Morsi's tenure so far has been marked by political divisions over the role of religion in politics and freedoms, but the latest accident is a further test of how his government will deal with Egyptians' everyday problems.

In a message on Twitter, the president's Muslim Brotherhood said "sincere condolences go out to the families of the victims of the horrific train crash in Badrasheen, we pray for speedy recovery of the injured."

The spokesman of the armed forces also sent condolences on his official Facebook page.

Transport minister Hatem Abdel Latif, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, said an investigation will be launched into the accident.

"We have to admit that the railway system is decaying. We will carry out investigations to know whether the accident happened because of defects in the train or rails or because of other reasons," Abdel Latif was quoted as saying by the state owned Al-Ahram website.

In November, nearly 50 school children were killed when a train smashed into their bus in central Egypt after a railway signal operator fell asleep, prompting protests and resignations.

The railway network's poor safety record stems largely from lack of maintenance and poor management. In Egypt's deadliest railway tragedy, the bodies of more than 360 passengers were recovered from a train after a fire in 2002.

Egyptians have long complained that the government has failed to deal with the country's transport problems, with roads as poorly maintained as railway lines.

 

Islamic State ‘share in US weapons’ embarrasses Pentagon

Hundreds protest in Iran after horrendous acid attacks

Libya army scores small victory in Benghazi

Masdar to build first large-scale wind farm in GCC

Kasserine reaps bitter harvest from Tunisia revolution: Poverty and terrorism

Turkish woman arrested for stepping on Koran

Erdogan criticises US for airdrops on Kobane

Iraq schools provide shelter but late to open for classes

Syria air force shoots down two of three 'IS warplanes'

Egypt court rules on ‘Nasr City terror cell’

Fire from Egypt wounds two Israeli soldiers near border

By hook or by crook, settlers notch up property gains in East Jerusalem

Turkey envoy meets leader of parallel government in Libya

Israel arrests seven Palestinian fishermen off northern Gaza

Khamenei to Abadi: Iraq can beat 'Islamic State' without foreign troops

Saudi special court rules in cases of riots and terrorism

Only in Libya: Government calls for civil disobedience

Iraq Kurds set to vote on deployment of Peshmerga forces to Syria

Alderton: Morocco unrivalled business gateway to sub-Saharan Africa

Protests over IS turn Istanbul University into war zone

Turkey eyes stricter punishment against lawbreakers at protests

For Sudan President: Promises are something and re-election is something else

Iran returns Abadi to ‘house of obedience’

From traditional military to counterinsurgency force: Syria army grows more capable

South Sudan rivals accept 'responsibility' for civil war

British drones in Iraq also used for Syria surveillance

Turkey launches new wave of wire-tapping arrests

Rise of Shiite militias challenges government authority in Iraq

Syria Kurds show impressive resistance to ‘Islamic State’ in Kobane

Vote or boycott: Grim record of self-serving politicians puts off voters in Tunisia

Egypt universities tighten security to avoid new Islamist violence

Iran forces inside Iraq as Abadi rules out foreign ground intervention!

South Sudan rivals meet in new bid to end civil war

From Morocco into Spain: Crowd of African migrants charges to border fence

Deadly suicide attack targets Shiite mosque in central Baghdad

Turkey gives Iraq Peshmerga forces passage to Kobane

Israel to supply Egypt with natural gas despite sabotage

Kerry seeks help of Southeast Asia in anti-Islamic State push

Qaeda inflicts heavy losses on Huthi rebels in central Yemen

US carries out first weapon airdrops to Kurd fighters near Kobane

Benghazi violence kills 75 people in five days

Morocco accuses Algeria of firing on civilians across border

Australia finalises deal for deployment of Special Forces to Iraq

Tunisia calls on Libya authorities to locate missing journalists

Turkey rejects calls to arm ‘terrorist’ Kurdish party in Syria