Egypt’s president: More funds needed to overhaul railway

March 1, 2018

The sun sets behind the wreckage of a train collision near Kom Hamadah, in the Beheira province in the Nile delta, Egypt, Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018. Egyptian authorities said two trains collided north of Cairo, killing at least 12 people, including a child, the latest deadly accident involving the country’s underfunded and mismanaged railways. Another 39 people were injured in the accident, according to the country’s state MENA news agency. (AP Photo/Mostafa Darwish)

CAIRO (AP) — Egypt’s president says his cash-strapped government lacks about 250 billion Egyptian pounds, or $14.1 billion, to overhaul the country’s run-down railway system.

Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi’s remarks Thursday came a day after a passenger train collided with a cargo train north of Cairo, killing at least 12 people, including a child, and injuring 39.

El-Sissi spoke during the inauguration of the New el-Alamein project, a city meant to house 3 million people on the Mediterranean coast.

Wednesday’s crash was the latest tragedy on Egypt’s poorly maintained railway tracks where deadly accidents due to negligence have killed scores over the years.

Figures by Egypt’s official statistics agency show that 1,249 train accidents took place in 2016. Last August, two passenger trains collided just outside Egypt’s Mediterranean port city of Alexandria, killing 43 people.

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