Cairo rail disaster caused by row between locomotive operators

Loco pilot exits cab to argue with other driver without applying brakes as train derails; Transport Minister resigns.

Mordechai Sones,

Cairo train disaster
Cairo train disaster

The train crash in Cairo that killed at least 25 people yesterday was caused by a dispute between locomotive operators, according to the first conclusions of the investigation.

Egypt's Chief Prosecutor General Nabil Sadeq said his interrogators had determined the locomotive driver exited the cab to argue with another driver whose train was blocking his.

However, the operator left the cab without applying the brakes and the train began to move and gain momentum until it hit a barrier and exploded.

"The driver left the train without taking any measures to stop it," Sadeq said.

Sadeq said there were 20 dead but the health system said the dead numbered at least 25. At least 47 people were injured, some of them critically. Some of bodies were completely burned and DNA tests were required to identify them.