Egypt orders arrest of eight people following fatal train collision

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TOPSHOT - People gather around the wreckage of two trains that collided in the Tahta district of Sohag province, some 460 kms (285 miles) south of the Egyptian capital Cairo, reportedly killing at least 19 people and injuring scores of others, on March 26, 2021. - Egypt has been plagued with deadly train accidents in recent years that have been widely blamed on inadequate infrastructure and poor maintenance. (Photo by - / AFP) (Photo by -/AFP via Getty Images)

Egypt ordered the arrest of eight people in connection with the fatal collision between two trains last week, according to a statement released by the prosecutor’s office on Monday.

FILE PHOTO: People gather around the wreckage of two trains that collided in the Tahta district of Sohag province, some 460 kms (285 miles) south of the Egyptian capital Cairo. (Photo by -/AFP via Getty Images)

“The prosecutor general ordered that the two drivers… their two assistants, the guard of a traffic control tower, the head of traffic control in Assiut and two other guards … be remanded in custody,” the statement said.

The crash, which occurred in the Tahta district of the southern Sohag province, killed 18 people and injured 200 others, according to government figures.

One of the trains was travelling between Luxor and the port city of Alexandria, while the other was travelling between Cairo and the city of Aswan in the south.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly vowed to take action against the individuals responsible for the crash.

Egypt was the first country in Africa to introduce the railway. However, accidents on its railway system are a common occurrence, especially in the last three decades, due in part to poor maintenance and lack of investment.

The worst accident in the North African country’s history occurred in February 2002 in El-Ayyat, south of the capital Cairo, when a fire broke out in a train traveling from Cairo to Luxor killing more than 360 people.

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