Badrashin, 4 Rabiul Awwal 1434/ 16 January 2013 (MINA) – Talaat Abdullah, Egypt’s prosecutor general, has ordered the burial of 19 victims killed in an overnight train accident in the Giza town of Badrashin.

       Moreover, Egypt’s top prosecutor launches official investigation into deadly train accident that killed at least 19 army recruits, Ahram Online was quoted by Mi’raj News Agency (MINA) as reporting from Badrashin.

      Abdullah ordered to halt train schedules on Tuesday in order to launch an official investigation into Monday’s accident that also injured 120 others.

      A security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Ahram Online on Tuesday that the death toll was likely to rise since many of the wounded were in critical condition.

      According to the official MENA news agency, the Egyptian ambulance authority sent 66 ambulance cars to the site of the accident to help with rescue efforts.

      The train was carrying conscripted youth on their way to an army camp.

       Hussein Zakareya, head of Egypt’s Railway Authority, said the derailed carriage hit another cargo train after it went off the rails.

      The deadly incident comes less than two months after 51 schoolchildren were killed when their bus was hit by a train as it drove through a railway crossing in the Assiut village of Manfalout, Upper Egypt.

      In the same month, November 2012, at least three Egyptians were also killed and more than 30 injured in a train crash in Fayoum, another city south of Cairo.

       Dozens of train accidents have plagued the country during the past decade. In 2002, in one of the most deadly incidents, 373 passengers were killed after their train caught fire. Seven years later, at least 30 people died in another accident on the same railways. 

      Egyptians have long complained about poor levels of safety and maintenance in the out-of-date railway system. The Egyptian government vowed on numerous occasions to upgrade the ageing trains, but little had been accomplished in that regard.

       “We have to admit that the railway system is decaying. We will carry out investigations to know whether the accident happened because of defects in the train or rails or because of other reasons,” transportation minister Hatem Abdel-Latif, who has been in office for 10 days, told Al-Ahram’s Arabic website.

       Abdel-Latif recently replaced Rashad El-Metiny, who resigned in the wake of the Assiut school bus tragedy, in a partial cabinet reshuffle carried out by Prime Minister Hisham Qandil.

       Egypt’s railways have a poor safety record and Egyptians have long complained that successive governments have failed to enforce even basic safeguards leading to a string of deadly crashes. (T.R-014/R-006)

Miraj News Agency (MINA)

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