Rail transport plays a huge role in creating and making a great future for people and users to transport safely every day without any fear (Riad, Zohny, Ibrahim, & Elsayed, 2018). The authors also added that safety can be defined as preventing any rail accidents to happen because a massive rail accident is mainly about any unexpected or undesired incidents that includes at least one moving rail vehicle, resulting in at least 10 killed or seriously injured persons or massive damage for the railway system.
The main goal for each railway company is to improve safety as it will help in improving the system’s economic efficiency, preserving the environment surrounding the system, and increasing the service level offered to people and users (Riad, Zohny, Ibrahim, & Elsayed, 2018). This paper will discuss the Egyptian train that deadly crashed in one of the main Cairo’s railway station platform causing huge tank explosion.
On Feb 27, 2019, an Egyptian rail train was coming from the train workshop with its maximum speed and pushing force to the platform No. 6 at Ramsis station and it went off the rails and strongly hits the metal barriers of the station causing a massive explosion of 24-30 Liter solar that the train contains and people starts to run with the fire burning their bodies and clothes. This incident killed 20 people and 43 other people were seriously injured with different levels of burns. (El Fadl, 2019; as cited in Al Ahram newspaper).
At first, the driver Alaa Fathy turned the train’s engine on and he gave it its maximum speed and pushing force and he was fully prepared to move with the train to reach the station. After a while, another train hits Alaa’s train and he went to fight with the other driver leaving his train ready to move in any second.
After the fight, the other driver moved away his train but unfortunately Alaa’s train moved with its maximum speed without the driver and both drivers ran away without informing anyone about the situation. The train was moving very fast until it reached the platform No. 6 in Cairo’s railway station at Ramsis and it went off the rails and strongly hits the barriers causing an immediate tank explosion.
Riad, Zohny, Ibrahim, & Elsayed (2018) stated that in 2017 there was total of 26% accidents in Egypt in different stations that led to trains explosion and seriously damaged trains, also in 2011 till 2015 in middle delta zone there was total of 30% accidents that led to fire in trains and it lefts many people injured with high levels of burns and other people were killed in these incidents.
The authors also stated that in many cities inside Egypt there is lack of fire extinguishers in the stations and the emergency alarms are not working. The authors also highlighted that there is only 3% of train accidents caused by external factors and no human hands in these accidents such as the fluctuation of the atmosphere resulting in the occurrence of a tree or electricity cable on the track or leave things on the track that can’t make the train move properly.
According to The Egyptian National Railway, the total number of railway accidents in Egypt from 2011 until 2017 was 6,945 accidents and that is highest number of accidents in the whole world, and in the latest four years from 2014 to 2017 there have been more than 2,000 accidents every year, especially in 2017 which have the largest number of train accidents (Riad, Zohny, Ibrahim, & Elsayed 2018).
The follow ups of this incident started with the council of Ministers, they gave 80 thousand pounds for every dead victim’s family and they also gave 25 thousand pounds for each injured victim (Hassan, 2019; as cited in Al Ahram newspaper). The Prime Minister Dr. Mustaffa Madbouli visited the train victims at Al Helal hospital and asked everyone that work in the hospital to provide the victims with the maximum care and Dr. Hala Zaid, Minister of Health, suggested that move the victims from Al Helal hospital to the Nasser Institution to receive the necessary treatment (Hassan, 2019; as cited in Al Ahram newspaper)
A large number of Egyptian citizens arrived at Al-Helal hospital for blood donations to help the train victims recover faster because there was lack of blood types for them (Moustafa, 2019; as cited in Al Ahram newspaper). The Egyptian police force managed to catch the driver of the Egyptian station accident (Alaa Fathy) after fleeing to his home in the the Menoufia government. After doing deep investigation with the driver, the Egyptian police after analyzing the driver’s blood they found out that he is addicted to drugs. The public prosecutor Nabil Sadiq ordered to put six people in jail who were the main reason behind this accident, they are: the driver for train 2305 and his assistant, the driver for train 2302 and his assistant, the tractor operator, and the maneuvering operator for the same train four days in custody.