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Train driver, two others detained over deadly railway crash north of Cairo

Ahram Online , Friday 2 Mar 2018
 train crash
A policeman looks at the wreckage after a train crash in Kom Hamada in the northern province of Beheira, Egypt, February 28, 2018. (Photo: Reuters)
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Egyptian prosecutors have ordered the detention of a train driver and two others pending investigations into a deadly railway crash that took place north of Cairo on Wednesday, Al-Ahram Arabic news website reported.

Twelve people were killed and dozens others injured when a passenger train collided with a cargo train in the northern governorate of Beheira, according to the health minister.

The driver of the passenger train, his assistant, and a railway worker responsible for changing tracks will be detained for four days on investigation into charges including unintended murder and injury, gross negligence, endangering people's lives and harming public funds.

Initial investigations showed that the crash was caused by an error in changing tracks, officials said, which lead to the passenger train traveling on the same track as the cargo train.

The driver of the cargo train was arrested previously but released shortly afterwards with no charges filed.

The country’s prosecutor-general on Thursday appointed a seven-member committee to inspect the scene of the crash and investigate the technical functioning of the trains, the network's signaling system, and operation equipment.

Egypt's railway system is notorious for its poor safety record, mostly blamed on lack of maintenance and poor management. Successive governments have failed to enforce basic safety measures for the network.

President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi had highlighted the need to upgrade the railway network to prevent deadly accidents, saying last year the system needs EGP 180 billion (approx. $10 billion) to be modernised.

In August, a collision outside Alexandria killed 41 people and injured some 179.

 

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