1.2% of Egyptian Railway Authority's workers suspended over drug use

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Mon, 04 May 2020 - 11:30 GMT

File- Ramsis Railway Station- Egypt Today/Moahmed Henawy

File- Ramsis Railway Station- Egypt Today/Moahmed Henawy

CAIRO – 4 May 2020: Chairman of the Egyptian Railway Authority (ERA) Ashraf Raslan told Al Watan newspaper that 1.2 percent of the authority's 25,000 employees screened since March 15, 2019 are drug users.

The employees who tested positive have been suspended until they fulfill a treatment program, and undergo two tests within the next six months.

The screening covered those working in the sectors of railroads, signaling, track transitions as well as drivers, and co-pilots among others. The tests were carried out jointly by the authority's medical center and the Fund for Drug Control.

The screening came as result of the Ramses Railway Station blaze that occurred on February 27, 2029, and incurred the death of 31 and the injury of 17.

A train, with no driver on board, was seen moving at an extremely high speed and crashing into the platform's buffer stop.

The collision caused an explosion of the fuel tank and triggered a huge blaze, leaving dozens killed.

Immediately, 30 ambulances arrived at the scene to transfer the injured to the nearest hospitals while fire fighters managed to control the blaze.

The Egyptian Cabinet announced LE 80,000 ($4,570) as a compensation for each family of the victims who were killed in the blaze, and LE 25,000 ($1,428) for each of the injured. Also, Alaa al-Zohairi, head of the Insurance Federation of Egypt, said that LE 30,000 ($1,713) would be immediately given to each of the victims' families.

Minister of Health and Population Hala Zayed said that some of the injured individuals were in a critical condition, while others suffered light-to-medium injuries, adding that some of them suffer bruises and broken bones.

Cairo criminal Court sentenced on March 9 the main defendant in the Ramses Railway Station train accident to 15 years in prison and fined him LE 8.89 million. The court sentenced another defendant in the case for 10 years in prison and handed two others 7 year imprisonment. The convicts were charged of negligence and gross breach.

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