Egypt’s Railway Authority head replaced after Cairo-Aswan derail leaves six injured


Six passengers were injured when Passenger train #982 (The Spanish) derailed before arriving in Kalabsha in Aswan, leaving both the railroad and vehicle badly damaged.

The prosecution ordered a technical committee be assigned to inspect the train at the site, while security forces blocked the area until investigations were complete.

Eyewitnesses said that the train was derailed in the Shibika area between the villages of Silwa and al-Kajouj, 70 kilometers north of Aswan, as it was on its way to Kalabsha station. The accident occured at about 3:00 am, uprooting the tracks.

The Railway Authority deployed maintenance teams and trucks to repair the damage. Many cranes were used to raise away the damages and repair the rails, while several ambulances rushed to transport the victims to Kom Ombo Central Hospital, where they were treated and discharged after recovering.

Transport Minister Hisham Arafat formed a technical committee headed by the deputy head of the Railways Authority for Safety Affairs to follow up the incident, and appointed Ashraf Mohamed Raslan as the chairman of the Railway Authority instead of Sayed Salem.

In less than a year, the Transport Minister has dismissed two of the Railway Authority’s heads. The first was engineer Medhat Shousha, who was sacked after the crash of the Alexandria trains, which killed 41 passengers and 143 injured persons, and appointed Sayed Salem.

In Salem’s tenure, the Marzeeq train accident took place, which injured 55 people. However Salem continued in his post until the Transport Minister ousted him after the Cairo-Aswan train accident on Sunday.

Out of the governmental bodies and the Transport Ministry in particular, the Railway Authority is the one whose presidents are frequently dismissed.

Numerous train accidents have caused the firing of six officials in less than 10 years.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm


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