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Friday, 15 November 2019

Egyptian railways authority to train staff following vendor death after being forced off train

Conductors, ticket-sellers, train officials, and other workers will be included in the training

Mohamed Soliman , Tuesday 29 Oct 2019
 Egyptian train
File photo: Egyptian train (Al-Ahram)
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The Egyptian Railways Authority is preparing a new training programme for all staff, days after the death of a street vendor who allegedly was forced from a moving train by a conductor.

Twenty-three-year-old Mohamed Eid, a vendor, was forced to jump from a train in the Nile Delta governorate of Gharbiya by the conductor because he did not have a ticket, according to reports. Another vendor was also reportedly forced to jump from the train, and was injured in the process.

According to a statement issued by Railways Authority on Tuesday, the programme will cover dealing legally and appropriately with emergency situations, and dealing positively with all passengers.

Conductors, ticket-sellers, train officials, and other workers will be included in the training, the statement added, noting that experts in sciences of behaviour, management and the art of dealing with the public will participate in the course.

Government reactions

On Monday, a statement issued by the Railways Authority Monday following the death of Eid quoted Transport Minister Kamel El-Wazir as saying that he would not allow any neglect of the rights of Egyptian citizens.

El-Wazir, who was appointed in March, said that the investigations would lead to the truth.

President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi had tasked El-Wazir on his appointment with raising security and safety standards on the national railway system.

The minister on Tuesday visited the victim’s family in Shoubra El-Khaima to give his condolences.

The Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority (EFSA) has said it will pay EGP 50,000 in compensation to the family of the deceased man, and EGP 20,000 to the injured man.

Conductor denies accusations

On Tuesday, the general prosecution in Tanta in the Nile Delta, where the incident occurred, ordered train conductor Hamam Magdy be detained for four days for investigation into the incident.

The prosecution said that investigations found that the train conductor forced the two passengers to jump from the moving train, as they did not have tickets. It also said it will also refer the conductor for a drug test.

According to a news report, the conductor has denied forcing the two men to jump, saying that both of them opened the train door and jumped of their own accord.

Revamping Egypt's railways

Also on Tuesday, five people were killed and two others injured after a train crashed into a minibus at a railway crossing in Luxor governorate.

A source at the railways authority said the crash occurred while the vehicle was crossing the Karnak railway crossing in the Badran region.

In 2017, President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi stressed the need to upgrade the country’s railway network to prevent deadly accidents, stating that the system needed about EGP 180 billion worth of upgrades.

In 2018, the transportation ministry announced a new project to revamp the national railway network, with EGP 55 billion to be invested through 2022.

Draft street vendors law

Earlier this month, Hala Abul-Saad, deputy chairman of the Small Projects Committee in the Egyptian parliament, submitted a draft law to regulate the work of street vendors.

According to the Abul-Saad, the number of street vendors nationwide totals 6 million.

The draft legislation defines street vendors as anyone who sells any commodity without having a specific shop.

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