Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (Cairo)

19 November 2012

Egypt: When Will Death Trains Stop?

press release

Date: Saturday, November 21, 2012

Incident location: Mandara Train Stop in Manfalot

Incident description:

On Saturday, November 21, 2012, the train no. 165 coming from Assuit, going towards Minia, crashed Al Nour Azhar Institute's student bus while crossing Al Mandara Train Stop, between the areas of Al Khawanka and Manfalot. 53 people were found dead, including children and school employees.

Non-stop train incident series:

This horrible incident is not the first in Egypt; it is not even the first in president Morsi's ruling period. So far, Morsi's presidency witnessed two train incidents in Imbaba and Fayoum. It takes the Egyptian people to the awful train incidents took place during Mubarak era:

1- In 1993, two trains crashed, 60 KM north Cairo. 12 people died and 60 people were injured.

2- In February 1997, two trains crashed north Aswan because of operational mistakes. The incident left 11 persons dead.

3- In October 1998, 50 people were found dead and 80 were injured, when a train deviated from the rails close to Alexandria.

4- In 1999, two trains crashed in the northern area; 10 were found dead and 50 were injured. In the same year, a train deviated from the rails and crashed a truck between Cairo and Alexandria. 10 died and 7 were injured.

5- On February 20, 2002, a fire broke out in the train no. 832, traveling from Cairo to Aswan. Known as "Upper Egypt Train Disaster", the incident left 373 dead. The majority of them got burned while attempting escaping the fire in the train in Aiyat City.

6- On March 8, 2002, a train deviated from the rails in Manashi, Giza, to sink in Al tawfiki Drain. 31 passengers were injured. The driver informed the prosecution general office that the automatic control system that controls the train speeds got defected.

7- In 2006, two trains crashed near to Alexandria; 20 persons were injured and 4 train carriages got damaged. In the same year, two trains crashed in Sharkia. 66 were found dead and 45 were injured.

8- In October 2009, two trains collided in Aiyat; 30 persons were found dead and others were injured.

During Mursi's presidency:

1- Trains no. 153 and 1110 collided in Fayoum to kill 5 people.

2- Trains no. 990 and 162 collided in Badrishin on July 17, 2012. 20 people were injured.

3- On October 20, 2012, the train no. 974 killed 7 people and injured others.

4- On November 3, 2012, the train no. 14 hit a truck while crossing the rails in Kaha.

5- On November 18, 2012, the wheat silos train deviated from the rails in Imbaba. The train demolished the protection fence and crashed a private car.

Recommendations:

1- Immediate investigations on the train incidents and taking the real perpetrators to accountability

2- Modernization of the Egyptian railway systems to guarantee safety of the passengers and the pedestrians as well

3- Placing a new strategy for monitoring the train stops and building capacity of the the railways' manpower

4- Reactivation of the professional safety codes

5- Meetings attended by the railways' senior officials with the train drivers and stops' watchmen.

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