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ElBaradei blames 'negligence' in death of children in Assiut accident

Former presidential candidate, ElBaradei, blames systematic negligence in Egypt for the death of 50 children in a bus-train accident Saturday

Ahram Online, Sunday 18 Nov 2012
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Reform campaigner and founder of the Constitution Party, Mohamed ElBaradei, extends his condolences to families and laments failures in the Egyptian system towards the 50 children who died in the bus hit by a train on Saturday.

"Peace and God's mercy for our lost children because of the catastrophic failure in everything," he writes on his Twitter account.

ElBaradei adds: "I feel pain, shame and anger. God how did we get here and when will we see salvation?"

A bus full of 60 kindergarten children, aged four - six years old, was hit by a train as it drove over a railway crossing in Manfalout, a village in the Upper Egyptian town of Assiut, Saturday morning.

There are conflicting reports of how the collision occurred. The Railway Authority earlier claimed that the bus driver drove the school bus over the tracks despite the fact that the warning lights and sirens were sounding.  

However, other eyewitnesses speaking to Al-Ahram's Arabic-language news website asserted that it was the train passed that through the crossing unexpectedly.

Egypt is notorious for lack of maintenance, a disregard for traffic rules. Furthermore, the railway, metro and bus drivers occasionally go on strike protesting but corruption at top levels and the need for services and maintenance of a decrepid transportation system.

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