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Tuesday, 22 October 2019

The trip ended on Platform 6: Victims of Cairo's Ramses railway station blaze

Ahram Online shares the names and stories of some of the victims of the Ramses railway station blast

Zeinab El-Gundy , Sunday 3 Mar 2019
Platform six
Firefighters putting off fire at platform six at Ramses Railway station (Photo: AFP)
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On Wednesday morning, a deadly blaze broke out at Cairo’s Ramses Railway Station when a locomotive collided with a cement barrier and burst into flames, killing 22 people and injuring over 40 others.

At least six people, including the locomotive driver reportedly responsible for the accident, have been arrested and are being detained pending investigation.

The horrific incident led to the resignation of transportation minister Hisham Arafat. 

Ahram Online sheds the light on some of the people whose lives were cut short in the accident.

Nadia Sabbour and Wessam Hanafy

Nadia Sabbour and Wessam Hanafy
Nadia Sabbour and Wessam Hanafy (Photos: Facebook)

Nadia Sabbour, the former head of Rotary Sun Rise, and Wassem Hanafy, the head of Rotary Golden Riders, who had just attended social work events in Luxor and Aswan, were transiting in Ramses station on their way back to their hometown of Alexandria.

Sabbour and Hanafy had participated in revamping and developing a village in Luxor as well as the inauguration of the Middle East’s first floating hospital ship in Aswan.

When the blast took place, Sabbour, 60, and Hanafy, 42, were waiting on Platform 6 with their another Rotary colleague Hend Moharram for two other colleagues who went to book tickets for the Cairo-Alexandria leg of he trip.

Two other Rotary friends had gone to the bathroom.

Sabbour and Hanafy were the first victims of the blaze to be identified publicly.

Their identities were confirmed later through DNA testing.

Sabbour was married but had no children. Wessam was single.

Miraculously, their friend Moharram survived the blast but her arm was badly injured. 

Samia Mohamed

Samia Mohamed and Rawya
Samia Mohamed and her granddaughter Rawya (Photo:Facebook)

Samia Mohamed, 55, and her granddaughter Rawya, 7, were at the station waiting to board a train to Sharqiya to attend a memorial service.

Mohamed had missed an earlier train heading to Sharqiya and had to wait for the next.

A video circulated online shortly after the incident shows Rawya sitting on the floor with burns all over her body in the immediate aftermath of the blast. She states her name and age before falling unconscious.

The 7-year-old was transferred to hospital in critical condition.

She was the first among the injured to be taken to Nasser Medical Institute.

For nearly eight hours, nobody knew anything about Rawya beyond her first name before her father showed up at the ICU.

It turned out Rawya had been living with her mother’s parents after her own parent’s divorce four years ago.

The father recognised his daughter from photos and videos of her posted online.

Rawya suffers from burns on nearly 86 percent of her body.

Her grandmother’s burned body was identified three days later using DNA testing.

Evon Ayad 

Evon Ayad
Late Evon Ayad (Photo: Facebook)

Evon Ayad, an employee at the Ramses Railway Station, was on Platform 6 when the blast took place.

Forty-eight hours after the blast, Ayad’s body was identified using a DNA sample provided by her brother.

Ayad, lwho ived in Shubra El-Khaima, Qalyoubia governorate, is survived by two sons and a daughter. 

Her eldest son had been planning to hold his wedding in a couple of months.

Ahmed Hamdy Mahmoud 

Ahmed Hamdy
Late Dr.Ahmed Hamdy (Photo: Facebook)

Ahmed Hamdy Mahmoud arrived in Cairo's Ramses station from Upper Egypt's Minya earlier on Wednesday and was on his way to El-Demerdash Hospital in Abbassiya, where he worked as an anaesthesiologist.

The 30-year-old had previously been working as an anaesthesiologist at Minya General Hospital, but was later assigned to work in a government hospital in the capital.

For 48 hours, his family searched for Mahmoud in hospitals and made appeals for help on social media.

His body was also identified using DNA testing.

Mahmoud is survived by a wife and daughter. 

Beshoy Fathy Kamel 

Beshoy Fathy Kamel
Late dentist Beshoy Fathy Kamel in his engagement photo session (Photo: Facebook)

Beshoy Fathy Kamel, 25, took the train from Aswan governorate to Cairo on Wednesday to go to the Dentists Syndicate to collect his license to practice dentistry.

After the accident, his family asked on social media for help to locate him before he was identified on Thursday.

Beshoy was four-months engaged to be married by the end of the year.

Mahmoud Fawzy

Mahmoud Fawzy
Late Mahmoud Fawzy (Photo:Facebook)

Mahmoud Fawzy took the earliest train from Aswan governorate, where he lived, to Cairo to buy merchandise for his souvenir shop in Aswan.

Fawzy stepped on Platform 6, 15 minutes before the blast.

For 36 hours, his family and friends searched for him before his body was identified using a DNA sample.

Fawzy is survived by a wife and a four-year-old daughter. 

Makarios Rady Wadeed  

Makarios Rady Wadeed
Late Makarios Rady Wadeed (Photo:Facebook)

Makarios Rady Wadeed arrived from Upper Egypt's Qena governorate at Ramses Station at around 9:30am, seconds before the blast.

The faculty of engineering graduate was making his way out of Platform 6 to exit the station when the blast hit.

Wadeed, 27, had a ticket on a flight that afternoon from Cairo International Airport to the UAE where he had just found a job.

On Thursday, his family announced that their son died at Nasser Medical Institute.

Wadeed was the eldest son in his family. His father had worked at the Ministry of Education before his retirement. His mother is a housewife. 

Mohamed Abdel-Dayim 

Mohamed Abdel Dayim
Mohamed Abdel Dayim (Photo:Facebook)

Mohamed Abdel-Dayim took the train from Mansura in the central Nile Delta to Cairo on Wednesday morning to submit his paperwork for a teacher's assistant job at the Faculty of Agriculture at Al-Azhar University.

The 30-year-old was waiting on Platform 6 for the supervisor of his master’s thesis, who took a later train to Ramses.

Mohamed's family searched for him at hospitals for three days before his body identified at Zeinhom morgue in south Cairo using a DNA sample.

Abdel-Dayim was preparing to get married.

Ayman Mamdouh Abdel-Aziz 

Ayman Mamdouh Abdel Aziz
Ayman Mamdouh Abdel Aziz (Photo:Facebook)

Ayman Mamdouh Abdel-Aziz, who originally hailed from Sharqiya in the central Delta, had been a kiosk supervisor at Ramses Station for four months.

The 29-year-old held a diploma in commerce.

His body was identified in the morgue using a DNA sample provided by his father, who searched for his son for two days.

Khaled Abdel-Aziz 

Khaled Abdel Aziz
Late Khaled Abdel Aziz (Photo: Facebook)

Khaled Abdel-Aziz, who lived in a village in Sharqiya governorate, travelled daily by train to Cairo where he worked for the Ambulance Authority.

The 37-year-old ambulance driver was stationed in the Ramses area.

After finishing his night shift on Wednesday morning and buying some children’s toys, Abdel-Aziz waited on Platform 6 for the 12pm train to return to see his family in Sharqiya when fate struck. 

The father of two toddlers was injured in the blast and transferred to a Cairo hospital with burns on 85 percent of his body.

Abdel-Aziz succumbed to his injuries on Thursday. 

Ahmed Abdel-Raheem

Ahmed Abdel Raheem
Late Ahmed Abdel Raheem (Photo:Facebook)

Ahmed Abdel-Raheem, who hailed from a small village in Upper Egypt's Assiut governorate, worked as a construction worker in the New Administrative Capital.

According to his family, they last talked on the phone with Abdel-Raheem, 19, when he told them he had just arrived at Ramses Station to catch a train home for his monthly holiday.

Abdel-Raheem was building a home to get married.

Emad El-Din Safwat 

Emad El-Din Safwat
Late Emad El-Din Safwat (Photo: Facebook)

Emad El-Din Safwat took the train every Thursday from Luxor, where he worked, to see his family in Cairo, where they lived.

The 36-year-old had been working as a manager in a paint factory in the Upper Egyptian city.

Last week, he took an extra day off to start his weekend on Wednesday.

The last phone call between Safwat and his family came at 9:05am, 20 minutes before the locomotive crashed.

His family, originally from Qalioubiya in the Nile Delta, searched for Safwat for 24 hours in Cairo before his body was identified at Zeinhom morgue using DNA testing.

Safwat is survived by his wife and four children.

Mohamed Gouda Mohamed 

Mohamed Gouda Mohamed
Late policeman Mohamed Gouda Mohamed (Photo: Facebook)

The last phone call between policeman Mohamed Gouda Mohamed and his nephew was at 10am from Ramses Station, where Mohamed told his nephew that there had been a huge accident and that he was trying to help save people.

At 8am that morning, Mohamed finished his shift as a policeman at a Giza post office and headed to the railway station to catch the first train to his village in Sharqiya governorate, where he lived with his family.

According to his family, the 37-year-old was initially standing far from the location of the blast, but ran there to help the victims, when his body caught fire.

His body was identified using a DNA sample provided by his family at Zeinhom morgue.

Gouda is survived by his wife and two children.

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