Egypt transport minister resigns

October 27, 2009 12:00 am

, CAIRO, Oct 27 – Egypt’s transport minister Mohammed Mansur resigned on Tuesday over a train crash that killed 18 people earlier this week, the official news agency MENA reported.

The agency reported that President Hosni Mubarak accepted Mansur’s resignation, in which he took responsibility for the deadly accident that also injured 36 people and sparked a backlash against Mansur in parliament.

The accident happened when a passenger train drove full-speed into the back of another, southwest of Egyptian capital Cairo on Saturday. The first train had made an unscheduled halt, apparently after the driver saw a water buffalo on the track.

Egypt’s national railway system is the biggest in the Middle East, with nearly 5,000 km (3,150 miles) of track, according to Egyptian National Railways.

Mansur is the second transport minister this decade to resign following a deadly train crash. Ibrahim el-Dumairi stood down from the post after 361 people died when a fire swept through a train in 2002.

Mansur comes from a wealthy family whose company is the sole distributor for General Motors in Egypt.

He survived a maelstrom of criticism in 2006 over the sinking of a ferry that killed more than 1,000 people in one of the deadliest disasters in modern maritime history.

His resignation came days before the ruling National Democratic Party, which is seeking to shake off its image as a corrupt and elitist party of wealthy businessmen, will hold its annual party conference.


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