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.

 

Trump-Saudi ties helps pave way for new Saudi crown prince

Iraq PM says IS admitting defeat in Mosul

US increases its role in Syria's civil war

Turkish President accused of influencing courts

Red Sea coral reefs take the heat of climate change

Makeshift clinic saves lives near Syria’s Raqa

Egyptian fuel helps restart Gaza power station

Rights groups say Morocco protest leader 'severely beaten' during arrest

5 killed in Mogadishu car bomb attack

UN experts urge Egypt to halt executions after 'flawed trials'

Qatar emir congratulates newly-appointed Saudi crown prince

Kushner hails 'productive' Palestine-Israel talks

Macron says removing Assad no longer priority in Syria

Turkey sends first aid ship to isolated ally Qatar

Egypt delivers fuel to ease Gaza electricity shortage

Saudi Arabia named after ruling dynasty

Turkey detains catering boss after army food poisoning

Israel says will unleash 'unimaginable power' in future Lebanon war

Brussels nail bomber identified as Moroccan

Saudi stock market bullish on new heir

Lebanon's Salame to be new UN Libya envoy

New Saudi heir is king's agent of change

Mohammed bin Salman named Saudi crown prince

Algeria leader drops Panama Papers libel suit vs Le Monde

Morocco detains three as Rif protests continue

Israel starts work on new settlements amid Trump 'peace' push

At least 10 dead in Mogadishu suicide attack

Iraq forces advance in Mosul Old City

Yemen cholera death toll passes 1,100

Iran-made drone shot down by US plane in Syria

Raqa’s own battle to liberate hometown from IS rule

Saudi, Iraq hail 'qualitative leap' in relations

French journalist killed in Mosul

Iran protests against Tillerson 'transition' comments

Saudi foils ‘terrorist act’ in territorial waters

Ex-Barclays CEO charged with fraud over Qatar funding

London mosque terror attack suspect named in media

Iran avenges Tehran attack by targeting jihadists in Syria

Israel begins reducing power supplies to Gaza

Emirati minister warns Qatar isolation could ‘last years’

Russia freezes US military hotline after downing of Syrian plane

Turkish troops arrive in Qatar for joint training

Saudi seizes weapons from captured boat in oil field

Iraq authorities tell IS to 'surrender or die' in Mosul

UN says record 65.6 million people displaced worldwide