Egypt's Sisi nominates army officer as transport minister after deadly train accident

Source: Xinhua| 2019-03-10 20:22:13|Editor: Xiaoxia
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CAIRO, March 10 (Xinhua) -- Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi nominated on Sunday the chairman of the Armed Forces Engineering Authority Kamel al-Wazir to take up the transportation portfolio.

Speaking during an educational symposium of the Armed Forces in Cairo, Sisi said an approval by the House of Representatives is needed before Wazir could officially assume the post.

On February 27, Transport Minister Hesham Arafat resigned hours after a train locomotive crashed into the buffer stop at the end of rail track at the main railway station near Ramses square downtown Cairo, causing a massive fire and leaving 20 dead and 43 wounded.

Wazir will be expected to fully upgrade the railway sector by June 30, 2020, Sisi said, adding that the minister-to-be will have full support from all bodies concerned, including the Armed Forces.

Egypt witnessed a number of deadly train accidents over the past few years, in which hundreds were killed and injured.

In August 2017, a train crash in the northern coastal province of Alexandria left at least 49 dead. Later in February 2018, a collision of two trains in Beheira province north of Cairo killed 12 people.

The deadliest train accident in Egypt took place in Giza's district of Ayyat in 2002, which killed 350 passengers when a fire broke out in a train coming from Upper Egypt, forcing many passengers to jump for their lives.