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Train driver involved in deadly Cairo crash had been suspended for drug use: MP

Ahram Online , Friday 1 Mar 2019
AP
Policemen stand guard in front of a damaged train inside Ramsis train station in Cairo, Egypt (AP)
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The deputy head of the transport committee in Egypt’s parliament has said that a train driver involved in a fatal crash at a Cairo station on Wednesday had been suspended from work for six months due to drug use at some point in the past.

Mohamed Zain spoke by phone on a television show hosted by Said Hasasin, also an Egyptian MP, on an Iraqi channel based in Cairo.

The accident at Ramses station in central Cairo occurred on Wednesday morning; a train driver got out of the cab to speak to the driver of another train he had collided with and his train moved away without him, hitting a barrier at high speed and causing a huge blaze.

Twenty-two people have died as a result of the accident.

Zain said he learned the information from the chairman of the National Railways Authority.

In addition, a delegation from the transport committee held a closed session with Deputy Transport Minister Omar Saad and the head of the National Railways Authority Ashraf Shaalan on Thursday to discuss the a report on the crash.

Prosecutor-General Nabil Sadek ordered the detention of six people for four days pending investigation of their involvement in the crash.

Those detained include the drivers and drivers’ assistants of the two trains involved in the crash, as well as a worker tasked with switching junctions and a manoeuvring operator on one of the trains.

Prosecutors have ordered the driver who abandoned his vehicle be drug tested.

Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly accepted the resignation of Transport Minister Hisham Arafat on Wednesday.

A train collision in August 2017 in Alexandria killed 43 people, while seven people were killed in a train collision in Beheira in February last year.

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