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Sunday, 13 August 2017

Alex train disaster that claimed the lives of 43 tops last night’s talk shows

As we expected, the Friday train collision near Alexandria that claimed the lives of at least 42 people was front and center on the airwaves last night. On Masaa DMC, Health Ministry spokesperson Khaled Mogahed updated host Eman El Hosary on the human cost of the incident, which also injured 133 (watch, runtime 4:32).

It seems likely that human error was behind the accident, Transport Minister Hisham Arafat told El Hosary. He dismissed the possibility of a technical failure, saying preliminary results point to speeding and potential negligence as being involved. The train’s equivalent of a ‘black box’ has been found, he said, so investigators should know more soon.

Work is being carried out to decrease the margin for human error by developing the railway network, Arafat also said. International firms including Thales have been working since the end of 2014 to set up an automated railway signaling system. The Cairo-Alexandria line should be complete by the end of 2018, he said (watch, runtime 15:29).

The World Bank is providing the c. EGP 2.5 bn needed for the development of the railway system, Arafat also told Ten TV’s Amr Abdel Hamid. He said as well that the sector needs private investors, whether local or foreign, to help with the upgrades. Arafat promised that safety and maintenance would be main priorities, with the aid of foreign partners (watch, runtime 15:38).

Meanwhile on Hona Al Asema, host Dina Zahra (who’s sitting in for Lamees Al Hadidi) was on about the disposition of state-owned land repossessed from squatters. The proposal currently being floated suggests that people wishing to reclaim land they had been using pay 25% of its value upfront and the balance over four installments, according to the spokesperson of the committee tasked with managing the issue, Ahmed Ayoub. The Justice Ministry found no legal obstacles, but the central bank has concerns on assurance. Another meeting will be held soon to finalize the issue (watch, runtime 7:30).

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