Egypt sacks rail authority chief after a string of deadly accidents

Due to a series of deadly train accidents in Egypt, the country’s railways chief was sacked on Tuesday following two days after the latest accident, which claimed 11 lives.

 

According to the transport ministry, the goal of this decision is not just about leadership changes of the authority, but they fall in line with a complete upgrade of the railway network in the country.

The ministry added that the changes “underway aim to provide better services, working around the clock to serve commuters and upgrade this essential service that transports millions of passengers yearly.”

 

Transport Minister Kamel el-Wazir’s shuffle of 10 top officials in Egypt’s embattled railways’ authority, including its head Ashraf Raslan, follows an uproar in Egypt’s mismanagement of the dilapidated train lines.

Calls on social media have urged the minister himself to resign, but he seems unshakable.

 

It should be noted that poor infrastructure and maintenance accounts for most of Egypt’s rail accidents.

 

Only on Sunday, 11 persons were killed and several others injured in a farming town in the fertile Nile Delta outside the capital when four train carriages went off the tracks.

Also, at least 20 people were killed, and nearly 200 were injured in a crash in southern Egypt last month, according to the latest official toll, which authorities have revised severally.

 

Fifteen people were also injured earlier this month when two train carriages derailed near Minya al-Qamh, north of Cairo.

Wazir, a former general, was named transport minister after a 2019 train collision caused by human error.

“We have a problem with the human element,” he said last month on a television talk show, pledging to set up an automated network by 2024.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is determined to account for those responsible for the recurrent deadly accidents on Egypt’s railways in recent years.

 

It should be recalled that one of the deadliest occurred in 2002 when a fire ripped through a crowded train south of the capital, leaving 373 people dead.

 

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