Egypt: Electrical Short-Circuit Caused Train Disaster
An electrical short-circuit was the main cause of the fire which killed 373 people in Egypt's worst train disaster, a government inquiry has found, reported AFP. Egypt’s Prime Minister Atef Ubeid has also named a new chief for the country's disaster-plagued railways authority, according to various press reports.
Al-Akhbar daily said the inquiry has pointed to a short-circuit as the "main" cause of the terrible train blaze, and not a cooking fire started by passengers on the long journey as some had initially suspected.
The commission, led by chief prosecutor Maher Abdel Wahed, also confirmed the aging train's carriages were not equipped with fire alarms, fire extinguishers, or emergency brakes or windows, it said.
Another Egyptian daily Al-Ahram, also reported Friday the fire was probably started by an electrical short-circuit.
Meanwhile, other press reports said that the train authority's vice president for technical matters, Eid Metwally, has been appointed the new head of railways, replacing Ahmed al-Sherif, who also resigned following the fire.
By late Saturday afternoon 200 bodies had been identified and returned to their next of kin, while 44 were identifiable, but that 133 were badly burned and would be difficult to identify, the Egyptian news agency MENA reported. (Albawaba.com)
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