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Union to appeal railway workers guilty verdict in Badrashin accident

Although the court acknowledges the 'obsolete' state of many of Egypt's trains, it found 3 railway workers guilty of manslaughter and negligence; Union is to appeal

Ahram Online, Sunday 5 May 2013
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The Railway Workers' Union announces it will appeal the involuntary manslaughter and negligence ruling against rail workers involved in the Badrashin train accident in Upper Egypt that killed at least 19 police conscripts.

Union President Mohamed Fouad abstained from commenting on the ruling against train driver Magdy Gerges and supervisors Mohamed Metwaly and Kareem Rofaeil. They each were fined LE500 (roughly $70) and given two-year prison sentences. Three other railway workers were acquitted.

The Giza misdemeanour court ruling mentions that the railway system is defective because a number of train cars are obsolete, including the Badrashin train.

Public transport workers have held labour strikes in recent months calling for better maintenance and pay raises.

Nevertheless, the court puts the blame squarely on those three defendants: "The accident occurred because [they] did not perform their job to properly check the train, which led to the death of the victims and the injury of others."

Over 120 were injured in the accident and damages are listed at LE1,837,754 ($264,752).

A 12-carriage train carrying 1328 Central Security Forces conscripts was en route to Cairo from Upper Egypt when one of its cars – carrying around 200 soldiers – derailed, hitting a goods train parked outside a storage depot.

Egypt has experienced numerous train crashes within the past two decades.

Calls for substantial reforms in the railway had increased following the Badrashin incident, which occurred days after 50 schoolchildren were killed when their bus was hit by a train.

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