Impatient Passengers Blamed for Egypt Train Crash

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

CAIRO (AP) - Egyptian passengers fed up with waiting for their
train to move put logs and rocks on the rails of a nearby track,
causing two other trains to collide on Tuesday, an Egyptian
security official said. At least four people were injured.

The security official said some of the passengers in Giza,
Cairo's twin city, were enraged that they had to wait for more than
30 minutes on their train to allow another train to pass. Some of
the restless passengers placed logs and rocks on the rails of the
track of the other train that was holding theirs up. When the
speeding train approached, the debris caused it to sideswipe
another train. Three cars of the fast-moving train overturned.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not
authorized to speak to the media.

The Health Ministry said at least four people were injured,
according to the state-run news agency MENA.

Since last year's uprising, there have been numerous protests
staged by train passengers demanding better services as well as
strikes by railway employees demanding higher wages, often delaying
trains for hours and sometimes days.

In January, state-run newspapers reported that 1,720 trains had
been delayed because of the protests. Most Egyptians cannot afford
air travel, which is also limited to cities with airports, and the
country's roads are poorly paved and dangerous, making trains a
popular option.

The railway system has a poor safety record that has long been
blamed on badly maintained equipment and poor management. Egypt's worst railway disaster took place in February 2002 when a train heading to southern Egypt caught fire, killing more than 370
people.

In August 2006, a passenger train barreling toward a station
collided with a second train, killing around 60 people.


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