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Friday, 20 September 2019

Alexandria-Cairo train traffic resumes after deadly collision

Some 47 of the injured were released today after receiving treatment, while 132 are still hospitalised

Ahram Online , Saturday 12 Aug 2017
Railway crane as it clears the way for incoming trains at the site of a fatal train collision in the area of Khorshid on the outskirts of Egypt's Mediterranean city of Alexandria from the day before. (Photo: Al-Ahram)
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Train movement from Cairo to Alexandria resumed on Saturday after the tracks were cleared following Friday's train collision that left 41 dead and 179 injured, the spokesman for the Ministry of Transportation was quoted as saying by state news agency MENA.

On Friday afternoon in Alexandria, a train travelling from Cairo to Alexandria crashed into the rear of another train en route to Alexandria from Port Said. The second train was stationary at Khorsid Station when the crash occurred.

Transportation ministry spokesman Mohammed Ezz said on Saturday that Cairo-Alexandria train traffic would operate on a single line in both directions until a second track that was damaged in the accident is repaired.

Some 47 of the injured were released from hospital on Saturday after receiving treatment, while 132 are still hospitalised, Al-Ahram Arabic news website reported, quoting a health ministry spokesman.

Minister of Transportation Hisham Arafat suspended the director general of the West Delta region, the director general of the central region and two traffic monitors until investigations are concluded.

Arafat added that those responsible would be held accountable after investigations are complete.

On Friday evening, President El-Sisi expressed his condolences for the victims and ordered government bodies to form investigative taskforces to identify the reasons behind the accident and hold those responsible to account.

Meanwhile, MP Osama Sharar submitted a request to parliament to sack the transportation minister.

Egypt's prosecutor-general Nabil Sadek ordered an urgent investigation into the collision shortly after the accident. 

On Saturday, Bahraini King Hamad Bin Eissa Al-Khalifa and other top Bahraini officials sent messages of condolences to El-Sisi, expressing sympathy for the victims of the train collision.

El-Sisi has also received condolences from Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah Ahmed El-Gaber Al-Sabah, Jordanian King Abdullah, and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, according to MENA.

The American embassy in Cairo has also extended its condolences.

"Our thoughts & prayers w/ families of those killed & injured in today's train crash. We stand with the Egyptian people in this hard time,” the embassy said on Twitter on Friday.

Other foreign missions in Cairo to express their condolences include the Ukrainian, British, French and German embassies.

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