Home / World / Africa

Bloody train derailment shocks Egypt

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-01-16 04:56

CAIRO - The train crash in Egypt's Giza governorate early Tuesday, which killed 19 and injured over 100, has become the talk of the hour all over the country.

At the spot of the accident in Giza's Badrasheen district, crowds of people could be seen running to rescue the victims around the train, which was carrying new military recruits from Upper Egypt to their military camp in Cairo when two of its carriages derailed and overturned.

Bloody train derailment shocks Egypt

Egyptian workers remove the wreckage of a military train crash in the Giza neighbourhood of Badrashin, about 40 km (25 miles) west of Cairo, Jan 15, 2013. [Photo/Agencies]

Residents of Badrasheen complained about the lack of basic services, including a proper railway system and a well-equipped hospital, blaming government officials for alleged negligence of their district.

Ahmed Ali, a 40-year-old resident of Badrasheen, told Xinhua that the people of Badrasheen started moving the dead bodies and the injured young military recruits to the nearby hospitals even before the police and ambulances arrived.

"We call on officials to pay more attention to Badrasheen. The railways are not suitable for human use," he complained.

"The last two carriages left the train to hit another train, and the Badrasheen hospital is not well-equipped enough to receive the seriously injured cases. Badrasheen really lacks a lot of service," said Emad, a 25-year-old carpenter from Badrasheen.

For his part, Dr. Omar Tawfik Hussein, manager of nearby Badrasheen Central Hospital, told Xinhua that the hospital received 27 people from the crash scene, four of them dead and 23 injured.

"We dealt with all the cases and did what was necessary. Some cases that needed specialized surgeries were transferred to Nasser Hospital and Maadi Military Hospital. The rest are here and some of them improved and were discharged," he told Xinhua.

The way to the hospital was busy, with traffic and ambulances going back and forth. At the entrance of the hospital, people were waiting to donate blood for the victims. The ward accommodating the injured soldiers was crowded with visitors.

Atiya, a 20-year-old injured soldier from Sohag governorate, told Xinhua that he had to jump out of the train when he felt the carriage was shaking so hard. "I felt I was going to die anyway," Atiya said, "so I jumped out of the train and hurt my leg."

His colleague Ahmed Ibrahim, lying down with wounds all over his face besides his splintered leg, seemed to be in a more serious condition. He was emotionally hurt because he had just lost one of his friends, Rushdi, in the train crash.

"I was sleeping in the rear carriage when I heard the train shaking, then something hit my head an I lost consciousness. I woke up 30 minutes later to see myself on the ground and two young men carrying me to the ambulance," Ibrahim said.

"It was a painful experience that I shed tears whenever I recall," Ibrahim continued with tears in his eyes.

Even some officials in the Transportation Ministry admitted that the trains were too old and the railway system lacked maintenance for a long time.

"The fleet of trains has not been renewed for 35 years now, and it lacks maintenance due to high cost and low budget," Mosataf Rashad, an engineer and official at the Railway Authority, told Xinhua.

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, accompanied by Defense Minister Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, visited the seriously-injured soldiers in Maadi Military Hospital and vowed that all possible support would be provided to them.

The government decided to pay around 4,500 US dollars for each family of the dead and about 300 US dollars for each injured person.

Egypt witnessed a lot of deadly railway crashes over the past few years, reflecting its deteriorating railway system and the lack of railroad maintenance.

The worst train accident in Egypt took place in Giza's district of Ayyat in 2002, which killed 350 passengers when fire broke out in a train coming from Upper Egypt. The train ran for 9 km in blaze, forcing passengers to jump out of the train in a hopeless attempt to survive.

Another train tragedy hit the country in November 2012, when a train hit a school bus at a crossing barrier area in Assiut Governorate, killing over 50 children.

Bloody train derailment shocks Egypt

A man walks beside the wreckage of a military train crash in the Giza neighbourhood of Badrashin, about 40 km (25 miles) west of Cairo, Jan 15, 2013. [Photo/Agencies]

Previous 1 2 Next

Most Viewed in 24 Hours
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349