Head of Egypt's railway authority resigns over fatal crash

Source:Xinhua Published: 2017/8/14 9:30:29

The Egyptian transport minister accepted on Sunday the resignation of the country's railway authority over the recent deadly train crash that killed at least 49, the Egyptian state TV reported.

The resignation comes two days after two trains crashed on Friday afternoon, leaving at least 49 passengers dead and over 130 wounded in the coastal city of Alexandria north of the capital Cairo.

Following a meeting with Prime Minister Sherif Ismail in Cairo on Sunday, Transport Minister Hesham Arafat also announced a deal to buy 1,000 trains from Italian international companies to upgrade the railway services and infrastructure.

On Saturday, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi urged in a meeting with Arafat to accelerate the development process of the country's railway network to avoid deadly train crashes.

Earlier in mid June, Egypt signed on Saturday a 575-million-US dollar agreement with US giant company General Electric (GE) to provide the country with 100 multi-use locomotives.

According to the deal, GE will also provide 15 years of technical support and spare parts for the new locomotives as well as 81 other present trains. It will also offer a training program for more than 275 Egyptian engineers and technicians from the railway authority.

The first shipment of 25 locomotives is expected to arrive in Egypt in 2018.

Railway accidents killed and wounded hundreds in Egypt over the past few years, the deadliest was in 2002 when 350 passengers were killed after fire broke out in a train coming from Upper Egypt.

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

Posted in: AFRICA

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