Egypt jails 5 railway employees over deadly collision

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Cairo, April 18 (IANS) An Egyptian court sentenced on Tuesday five railway employees up to 20 years in jail over a train collision in the Alexandria in August last year that left at least 49 dead.

The court sentenced two train drivers, an assistant driver, a dispatcher and a stationmaster to 15, 18 and 20 years in prison over charges of negligence and manslaughter, while a ticket inspector was acquitted, Xinhua reported.

The accident took place last August when a train stopped for a technical problem and another collided with it from behind near Khorshid railway station of Alexandria, killing at least 49 passengers and wounding more than 130 others.

The country’s railway authority had chief resigned over the tragedy.

Railway accidents killed and wounded hundreds of Egyptians 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.

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Another tragedy took place 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.

Earlier in April, Egypt’s Minister of Transport Hesham Arafat announced a project to upgrade and modernise the country’s old railway system by 2022, with a total investment of about $3.1 billion.

–IANS

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