Minister of Transportation Hisham Arafat appointed Monday Sayed Ibrahim Salem as a temporary chief of the Egyptian Railways Authority. Salem was the deputy chief of the authority for safety and quality sector, according to an official statement.
The former chief of the Egyptian Railways Authority Medhat Shousha resigned on Friday, after the death of at least 42 passengers and the injury of about 120 others in Alexandria when two trains collided.
During a phone call with TV station DMC, Arafat said that he met with Prime Minister Sherif Ismail on Sunday and informed him that the ministry needs EGP 45bn to develop the railways in accordance with a plan until 2022, in addition to the current developing process.
He added that the suggested developing project includes electric signs in overcrowded lines where the high demand on transportation, such as the Alexandria-Cairo line—set to be developed by the end of 2018—and reducing the number of trips to avoid human error.
Arafat also asserted that the former chief of the Egyptian Railways Authority Shousha resigned just one day before the incident due to other problems in his work, but the resignation was just accepted after the incident.
Although the minister refused to talk about the internal investigations on the incident in the ministry, his deputy Amr Shaath said during an interview with the TV station MBC Masr that the initial investigations indicates to an interference in the signs.
He explained that the driver of the stationary train said in the investigations that he has stopped according to the order of the sign. The assistant of the driver of the moving train also said that he told him that he saw a stationary train, but the driver did not respond.
According to Shaath, there are three signs, the distance between one and the other 800 metres, pointing out that the conversations between the drivers and the surveillance tower are recorded and are now evidence in the investigations.
Meanwhile, the Transportation Committee at the Egyptian House of Representatives held a session Monday to discuss the incident. During the session, the secretary of the committee, Khaled Abdel Moula, said that the Minister of Transportation is a partner in the incident due to not suggesting any positive visions to overcome problems in the railways, while. The Minister of Transportation vowed during the session that such incidents will not be repeated, state-owned media reported.