Mass Funeral For Over 100 Victims of Egypt Train Disaster
The funeral for more than 100 unidentified victims of Egypt's worst rail disaster turned into an outpouring of anger at the authorities, whom mourners charged had failed to take sufficient safety measures.
According to AFP, hundreds of Cairo's poor, most of whom claimed no family connections to the dead, attended the funeral at the Martyrs' Cemetery in Cairo's sprawling cemetery district, known as the City of the Dead.
The city's deputy governor, Zaki Abdel Ghani, said 109 unidentified bodies were buried. The state press has reported that about 200 of the 373 dead in Wednesday's disaster on the southbound train from Cairo had been identified and returned to their families for private burial.
Crowds chanted "There is no God but God", drowning out the list of official condolences read out over the microphone, as the bodies wrapped in white shrouds were taken from ambulances to be interred in underground vaults.
Police stood guard at the cemetery walls, fearing overcrowding by mourners, as Egypt's top Islamic cleric Grand Sheikh Mohammed Sayed Tantawi led the prayers beside 14 large graves. The burial had been due on Saturday, but was delayed to allow relatives more time to identify victims.
Mourners blamed bad maintenance and packed crowds for the high death toll in the seven third-class carriages engulfed by the blaze. The official commission of inquiry has determined that an electrical short-circuit sparked the fire, the state press reported.
The commission also determined that the aging train's carriages were not equipped with fire alarms, fire extinguishers or emergency brakes, and that there were no emergency windows. (Albawaba.com)
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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