Egyptian court hands 10-year prison terms to five over 2017 deadly Alexandria train collision

Ahram Online , Tuesday 17 Apr 2018

A picture taken on August 12, 2017 shows a general view of people observing the wreckage of a fatal train collision in the area of Khorshid on the outskirts of Egypt's Mediterranean city of Alexandria from the day before (AFP)

An Alexandria Misdemeanour Court handed 10 year prison terms to five defendants on Tuesday over a deadly 2017 train accident near the coastal city that left 41 passengers dead.

Among those sentenced included the train's conductor, his aide, and others to ten years in prison.

It also sentenced the railway station manager to five years in prison, as well as three-year dismissal from office.

The defendants were charged with manslaughter and negligence and have been ordered to pay a fine of EGP 1 million (approximately $56,520). The sentences can still be appealed.

In August 2017, a deadly collision near Alexandria left 41 dead and 179 injured after a train en route from Cairo crashed into the back of the train from Port Said.

The latter train was stationary at Khorshid station in Alexandria's eastern suburbs at the time.

Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi ordered the formation of investigative teams in order to identify the reasons behind the accident and hold those responsible to account.

Egypt's railway system is notorious for its poor safety record, mostly blamed on lack of maintenance and poor management. Successive governments have failed to enforce basic safety measures for the network.

Following the crash, President El-Sisi highlighted the need to upgrade the railway network to prevent deadly accidents, stating that the system needs EGP 180 billion (about $10 billion) to be modernised.

On April 9, Egypt's Transportation Minister Hisham Arafat announced a project to revamp the national railway network, announcing EGP 55 billion in investments thru 2022. 

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