CAIRO: A train driver was ordered detained for four days pending investigations along with a railway dispatcher after a Thursday derailment of a train in Upper Egypt, Youm7 reported.
Train No. 993 crashed into a concrete fence causing the locomotive and the front coach to flip over, leaving some 71 injured; most of them were released from the hospital.
During investigations, the dispatcher who works at the rail system communication tower said he sent a signal about the switch so that the driver would reduce his speed, however the driver denied receiving any signal.
Train movement on the line was halted for hours Thursday until the debris of the crashed train was lifted off the railways.
The Transport Ministry has assigned a technical committee to investigate the crash, determine the reason behind it and whether the driver was speeding.
The accident attracted high condemnation by politicians and social media users who slammed the deteriorating railway system in the country amid increasing number of fatal accidents.
Transport Minister Saad el-Geoushy made remarks after the accident, where he revealed that restructuring the outdated railway system needs billions of pounds.
Geoushy said that a total of 760 train accidents have occurred in Egypt during the past three years. He attributed the train crashes mainly to the “improper structure of the outdated railroad crossings, lack of maintenance and lack of training courses provided to the Egyptian National Railway’s (ENR) employees.”
Transport Ministry spokesperson Ahmed Ibrahim previously stated to Youm7 that the ministry decided to sign a contract with an international company to manage and operate the Railway system as he believes the current one is a “failure.”