Egypt's Sohag University suspends lectures at new HQ after fatal van crash

Ahram Online , Tuesday 4 Nov 2014

Eleven students died on Sunday on unpaved highway while leaving university's new campus

Sohag University has decided to suspend lectures at its new headquarters after 11 students died in a traffic accident on an unfinished highway while leaving the school on Sunday, Al-Ahram's Arabic news website reported.

On Sunday, 14 students were traveling in a private bus from the university's new campus outside the city when the driver swerved off the highway to avoid an oncoming truck. The bus driver died, in addition to the 11 students.

The university has blamed the highway – Kawamel Road – for the accident, which it says is still under construction and hasn't been properly paved. A committee has been set up by the school to oversee the highway's completion.

The university's council also announced, after an emergency meeting on Monday night, that the victims' families will be given LE20,000, with LE10,000 for those injured.

The school is also offering a minor pilgrimage to the holy Islamic sites in Saudi Arabia to the victims' parents.

All classes will be moved from the new campus – built at a cost of LE1 billion – to the original headquarters, with the new schedule to be announced on the university's website on Thursday.

A 2012 report by the Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics (CAPMAS) estimated that traffic accidents cost the Egyptian economy LE17 billion yearly.

From its side, the World Health Organisation said that Egypt loses nearly 12,000 lives a year due to road accidents, mostly involving private four-wheel vehicles.

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