External Affairs

Egyptian Train Crews Held After Fatal Alexandria Crash As Railway Chief Quits

People travel on an overcrowded train in Cairo, Egypt, August 12, 2017. Credit: Reuters/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

People travel on an overcrowded train in Cairo, Egypt, August 12, 2017. Credit: Reuters/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

Cairo: The head of Egypt’s railway authority, Medhat Shousha, has resigned following a train collision in Alexandria that killed at least 41 people, transport minister Hisham Arafat told reporters on Sunday.

A prosecutor had earlier ordered the detention of both train drivers and their assistants for 15 days, the state news agency MENA said.

In addition to the deaths, at least 133 people were injured when the two trains collided in the coastal city on Friday, the latest in a string of crashes on an antiquated transport network that have outraged the public.

Egyptians have long complained that successive governments have failed to enforce basic safeguards for the railways.

A witness said the trains rose into the air, “forming a pyramid”, as they slammed into each other just outside a suburban station.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has ordered an inquiry into the crash. MENA said blood and urine samples had been taken from one driver to check for drug use.

(Reuters)