Egyptian Engineer sentenced to 15 Years imprisonment

A court in Egypt on Monday sentenced a train engineer to 15 years in prison for his conviction on charges of manslaughter and damaging public property stemming from a deadly locomotive crash last year at the Egyptian capital’s main train station.

An argument between engineers Emad Fathy and Ayman el-Shahat led to the unleashing of a speeding, unmanned locomotive that slammed into a barrier and exploded in Cairo’s busy Ramses station last February, killing 31 people and injuring 17.

Besides sentencing Fathy to 15 years, the Cairo criminal court fined him about $570,000 for the damage caused by the crash. The court sentenced el-Shahat to 10 years.

The sentences can be appealed.

The crash sparked public outrage at the time and prompted then-Transportation Minister Hisham Arafat to resign.

According to investigations, the locomotive was left unattended after Fathy got into an argument with el-Shahat and left the controls without applying the brakes. The engine began moving down the track, picking up a speed of 120 kph (75 mph) before slamming into a barrier and exploding.

Egypt’s railway system has a history of badly maintained equipment and poor management. The latest official figures show that over 2,000 train accidents took place across the country in 2018.

The country’s deadliest train crash took place in 2002 when over 300 people were killed when fire erupted in speeding train traveling from Cairo to southern Egypt.