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.

 

Qatar blocks planes from transporting pilgrims

Russia destroys large column of IS fighters in Syria

Erdogan says joint op with Iran against Kurds ‘on the agenda’

Barcelona attack fugitive ‘dangerous, possibly armed’ warn police

In Egypt, Syrian refugees recreate Syria

Spanish police shoot dead man who could be Barcelona attacker

Iraqi forces close in on last IS bastion in country’s north

Kuwait arrests 13 fugitives in Iran-linked terror case

Lebanese president ratifies public sector wage rise, tax hike

Young Syrian refugees want end of war and ISIS

Lebanon army advances against IS in border battle

Spanish police say driver of Barcelona rampage van identified

Toxic politics in Italy, Libya further complicate migration problem

Assad says no Syria ties for countries backing rebels

In African tour, Sisi seeks to rebuild ties, address security and water concerns

Syria’s transition scenarios for future rounds of talks

Iraqi Kurds may postpone referendum in return for concessions

Dubai real estate market sets the pace for renewed growth in the GCC

German-Turkish intellectual held at Ankara’s request

Jordan’s municipal elections marred by deaths, riots

Rouhani says top priority is protecting nuclear deal from US

Russia doubts IS claim of stabbing attack in northern city

Turkey slams 'arrogant' German reaction to Erdogan poll call

Police confirm Finland 'terror attack'

Spain hunts suspects as IS claims attack

Aid project helps Syria refugees feel at home in Jordan

Lebanese army launches anti-IS offensive on Syria border

UN demands access to Yemen ports

Low-cost attacks a new reality for Europeans

Forces of Libya's Haftar say commander wanted by ICC in detention

Yemen rebels urged to free political commentator

Iranian footballer breaks silence over ban for playing Israelis

Erdogan meddles in German politics

IS fighters almost encircled in Syrian desert

For Israel, White House ties trump neo-Nazis and antisemitism

Israel freezes implementation of settlement law

Saudi Arabia installing cranes at Yemen ports

13 dead, 100 injured in two Spanish seaside city attacks

Iran reform leader ends hunger strike

Van ploughs through pedestrians in Barcelona terror attack

13 killed in Barcelona van attack

Iraq acknowledges abuses in Mosul campaign

Netanyahu under fire for response to US neo-Nazism

Israel to free high-profile suspects in money laundering probe

Spanish police shut down jet-ski migrant smugglers