Egypt allocates financial compensations for train station fire victims

80,000 Egyptian pounds for families of those who lost their lives and 25,000 Egyptian pounds for the injured.
Fire fighters and onlookers gather at the scene of a fiery train crash at the Egyptian capital Cairo’s main railway station on February 27, 2019. – The crash killed at least 20 people, Egyptian security and medical sources said. The accident, which sparked a major blaze at the Ramses station, also injured 40 others, the sources said. (Photo by Islam Safwat/NurPhoto)

The Egyptian government yesterday announced that it would pay financial compensations to the victims of the Ramses Train Station blaze.

The state cabinet agreed to disburse 80,000 Egyptian pounds ($4,564) for the families of the victims who were killed in the blaze and 25,000 Egyptian pounds ($1,426) for the injured people.

At least 25 people were killed and some 50 others injured after a fire that had erupted at Cairo’s Ramses Station on Wednesday’s morning. The state-run National Railway Authority later reported that the blaze was triggered by a high-speed train colliding with a concrete buffer stop at the main station in downtown Cairo.

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The train’s fuel tank was also reported to have exploded after the crash, setting a platform and nearby buildings on fire. Minutes later, dozens of ambulances and fire engines rushed to the scene after they were notified by accident. Also, the station’s rail services were suspended.

Pictures and footage showing the horrifying scenes of charred bodies lying on the tracks and the platform had gone viral across social media platforms.

The crash comes almost exactly a year after a collision between two trains in the northern province of Beheira left 15 people dead and a further 16 injured.

Fatal train crashes and accidents have been a frequent occurrence in Egypt for the past two decades. Observers attribute such crashes to old equipment, poor maintenance and inefficient government regulation.

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In 2017, Egypt’s general prosecutor referred six persons to trial for “extreme negligence” after 44 people were killed and at least 200 were injured in a crash in the province of Alexandria.

The country’s deadliest rail accident occurred near Cairo in 2002, when a fire ripped through an overcrowded passenger train, killing more than 370 people.

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