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Tuesday, 22 October 2019

Workers blame faulty equipment for deadly Giza rail crash

Watchmen at Dahshour crossing say alarm bells and warning lights were broken; train driver says crossing wasn't closed after he sounded alarm; death toll reaches 27

Ayat Al-Tawy, Monday 18 Nov 2013
Journalists and others inspect the wreckage of vehicles struck by a train at the site of a deadly train accident near the village of Dahshur, about 40 kilometers (25 miles) south of Cairo, Egypt, Monday, Nov. 18, 2013. (Photo: AP)
Views: 2651
Views: 2651

Railway workers have blamed faulty equipment and negligence for a train crash near Cairo that killed at least 27 people.

A goods train hit a pickup truck and a minibus crossing the tracks at Dahshour in Giza shortly after midnight on Monday, state news agency MENA reported.

At least 34 others were injured, with some in critical condition, health ministry officials said.

Two watchmen at the crossing told Al-Ahram's Arabic news website that the manual alarm bells and warning lights for approaching trains were out of service.

The train driver said he sounded warning bell dozens of times for the crossing to be closed, but to no avail.

The train, which was travelling at 50km/hr when the accident took place, came to a halt 1km beyond the crossing, the driver added.

The two watchmen, and the train driver and his assistant are currently being questioned by prosecutors.

Initial investigations have shown the crossing lacked chains to prevent vehicles crossing the track, but the alarm lights were functioning properly.

In addition, the watchmen were not at the scene when the accident took place, contrary to their own account, investigators said.

Accident survivor Nawal Hamdy, 42, told Al-Ahram she lost four relatives in the collision which took place at around 1am.

Speaking from a hospital bed in Giza, Hamdy said 45 members of the same family were returning to Fayoum from a wedding party in Cairo when the train, which was carrying building materials, crashed into a truck heading in the opposite direction before slamming into their minibus.

"In less than a moment we lost consciousness until we found ourselves in hospital," she recalled.

The family of each person killed in the crash will receive LE5,000 in compensation and each injured person will receive LE2,000, Giza governor Ali Abdel-Rahman said.

The Egyptian railway system is infamous for its poor safety record and frequent accidents. The service is crumbling from outdated and poorly maintained equipment.

Transport Minister Ibrahim El-Demeiry was serving in the same post in 2002 when a fire swept through seven carriages of a passenger train in Upper Egypt, killing at least 360 people – the country's worst train disaster.

April 6 Youth Movement called for the interim government's removal and for the real culprits to be prosecuted, instead of "scapegoating" junior workers.

"If the minister was held accountable for the Upper Egypt train accident [in 2002], today's accident would not have taken place."

Egyptians have long complained that successive governments have done little to improve transport safety.

In November 2012, a train crashed into a school bus in Assiut, Upper Egypt, killing 51 children. The transport minister and the head of the railways resigned as a result.

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19-11-2013 03:43pm
Things like this still happen in the USA, even with warning lights and crossing arms. The Americans still try to go around the crossing arms because they think they can beat the train, the price is too high to take such a risk. It is an insult to the families of the dead and injured to think that their of love ones lives only worth LE5000 and LE2000 for the injured. My condolences to the families that lost their lives and wish the injured get well soon. Nothing can ease the pain and the suffering from the lost of our love ones. Time does not heal pains only what we do with it will us move on with ours lives. God bless and peace be upon you.
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18-11-2013 06:32pm
First of all
learn to drive!! Learn to obey the rules and traffic laws, dear Egyptians. I live here more than 5 years. From my window (Alexandria, corniche) I see scenes just like from the hell... Almost everyday an accident happens, sometimes deadly. Irrational, idiotic way of driving is a normal think here. Think about the way You get the driving-license in Egypt. It's funny. and it is horrible... Change this.
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Hind Rustom
18-11-2013 04:05pm
a blessing in disguise?
This another blessing of the Sisi regime.
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18-11-2013 09:18pm
Brotherhood mutated brain expressing itself.
Abu Saif
18-11-2013 07:59pm
Shame on you Hind
Blame SISI this week last year Blame Morsi fo the school bus of Babies ?

18-11-2013 02:33pm
a disgrace!
The family of each person killed in the crash will receive LE5,000 in compensation and each injured person will receive LE2,000, Giza governor Ali Abdel-Rahman said....... SO, THE PRICE OF A LIFE, TAKEN BY NEGLIGENCE IS JUST 5000LE??? A smaller amount than the train company took in profit to move the cargo on the train that killed these people??? How many more accidents, a repeat of the same accident that happened just a few months ago are we going to have to see? How many people have to be killed at these level crossings before we do something about them??
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18-11-2013 01:11pm
Roads should not be constracted near the railway lines
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