A Human Act Causes A Catastrophe In Egypt
At least 32 people have died and 86 have been injured in the collision of two trains in the town of Tahta, in the southern province of Sohag, the Egyptian Ministry of Health has reported. The country’s Railways Authority has stated that the accident was caused by “unknown persons” who activated the emergency brake of one of them, causing two wagons to overturn.
More than 30 ambulances have transported the victims to several nearby hospitals in the province located in the Nile Valley , where the railways are old and in poor condition, according to a ministry statement.
A statement from the Authority has explained that, “at 11:42 local time (09:42 GMT), the train 2011 Aswan – Cairo passed the traffic light 709 and collided with the rear of the last car of the train 157 Luxor – Alexandria”, which was stopped on the road after the emergency brakes were activated, it is unknown whether voluntarily or accidentally .
The impact, which took place between the Al Maragha and Tahta stations, has also caused the last two carriages of train 157 to overturn , the note details. After the accident, the authorities are working to clear the rails to circulate the other trains.
An investigation to clarify what happened
“A technical committee has been formed to find out the reasons for the accident,” stressed the Railway Authority. For its part, the Administrative Prosecutor’s Office has ordered the start of “an urgent investigation” into the accident, reported the official Egyptian news agency, MENA.
Health spokesman Khaled Mujahid added in the note that Minister Hala Zayed is traveling to the province to “monitor the health status of the injured,” in addition to having created a crisis and emergency cell in Sohag.
This cell is in charge of evaluating “the consequences of the accident and providing medical supplies and personnel of all specialties to give the necessary assistance to the injured,” the statement added.
For his part, the Egyptian Prime Minister, Mustafa Madbuli, has assured in a statement that there is coordination with the competent departments and has asked those in charge to ” go immediately to the scene of the accident to offer the necessary support and deal with the situation quickly. “.
Frequent rail accidents
In Egypt , rail accidents are frequent , due to the poor state of the network and despite the fact that the authorities have repeatedly promised to renew the infrastructures and invest more in the safety of the tracks and their correct signaling.
The last major accident occurred on February 27, 2019, in which 22 people died and at least 40 were injured at the capital’s central station, where a driverless locomotive gained speed and ended up crashing into a concrete barrier located next to it. end of the train track.
After that tragedy, the then Transport Minister Hisham Arafat resigned and was replaced by a military man , General Kamel al Wazir, who had the support of the president, Abdelfatah al Sisi.
Among the most serious of the decade
The crash is one of the most serious railway accidents in Egypt in the last decade. Before the 2019 accident, on November 17, 2012, 52 people died, 49 of them children , and another 18 infants were seriously injured, when a bus – where all the victims were traveling – collided with a train in the province of Asyut, in the south of the country.
The incident, after which Egyptian Transport Minister Mohamed Rashad al Metini resigned, occurred when the school bus driver skipped the level crossing and collided with the train.
On 15 January 2013, 19 people lost their lives and 107 were injured when a train carrying Egyptian Army recruits was derailed in the province of Giza, after two carriages went off the track at the Abu Ruba station in Hauandiya. On November 18 of that same year, 23 individuals were killed and 28 injured when a freight train, a minibus and another vehicle collided at a junction of the railway and a road in Dahshur.
On August 11, 2017, a train crash outside Alexandria, on the country’s north coast, caused 41 deaths and 123 injuries .
The greatest railway tragedy in Egyptian history occurred on February 20, 2002, when 375 people were killed in a fire on a passenger train that covered the route between Cairo and Luxor, which broke out shortly after the convoy departed from Cairo central station.