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Egypt Salvation Front holds officials responsible for Badrashin accident

Leading members of Egypt's National Salvation Front blame Badrashin train accident on poor governance; ElBaradei says 'Egypt on its knees' everyday

Ahram Online, Tuesday 15 Jan 2013
One of the survivors of Badrashin's tragic train accident, 14 January 2013 (Photo: Mohamed Nada)
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Egypt's opposition figures have condemned the government's response following a tragic train accident that killed at least 19 people and injured 120 others overnight.

Health ministry officials said on Tuesday that the death toll was likely to rise.

Prominent critic Hamdi Qandil and member of the country's main opposition movement, the National Salvation Front (NSF), said that he expects the country will continue to witness similar deadly train accidents due to the lack of government accountability.

"The railway situation [in Egypt] has deteriorated to an extent that it cannot be fixed. The whole system needs to be changed," Qandil told the Al-Ahram Arabic news website.

Qandil pointed out that even the Italian embassy has been warning its citizens in Egypt from riding its trains.

In the absence of any statement or acknowledgement from the presidency thus far, Qandil said: "... a statement does not matter at this point. The young men are dead."

The accident occurred a few minutes before midnight on Monday in the town of Badrashin where a12-carriage train carrying 1,328 conscripts was en route to Cairo from Upper Egypt. One of its carts, which carried at least 200 conscripts, derailed and slammed into another train parked outside a storage depot.

Mohamed ElBaradei, the NSF's co-founder and prominent reform campaigner, expressed his remorse for those who were killed, saying via his twitter account that the real tragedy of Egypt is not about the affiliation of its rulers but rather their inability to manage the country.

"Egypt is kneeling down every day," El Baradei said in reference to the president's promise that Egypt "will never kneel down" in the face of any challenge.

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