Egypt punishes train disaster ‘selfie medics’

Egypt’s health ministry has punished six medics who took selfies in front of a deadly train wreck by transferring them to a remote part of the country, it said on Saturday, following an online uproar.
Two trains collided on Friday near the Mediterranean city of Alexandria, killing 41 people in one of the deadliest such accidents in the country. Pictures of an ambulance crew taking selfie pictures in front the wreckage sparked anger on social media, with one Twitter user posting a photograph with a hashtag reading: “conscience in a coma.”
Dubbed the “Selfie Medics” by Twitter users, they faced calls for punishment on social media.
The health ministry’s director of emergency services Ahmed al Ansari said six members of the ambulance crew have been transferred to the western Siwa oasis as punishment.
It was “inappropriate conduct,” he said. Egyptian prosecutors on Sunday ordered the jailing of four people in connection with a train collision that killed more than 40 people and injured scores two days earlier.
The drivers of the two trains involved in the crash and two of their aides are to be remanded for 15 days pending further investigations, the agency said.
Transport Minister Hesham Arafat said on Saturday that a manual rail operation system was a contributing factor to the collision, one of Egypt’s deadliest in recent years.
“Initial indications show that the collision is attributed to the reliance on humans for the railways operation as well as the lack of infrastructure development over decades,” Arafat was quoted as saying by the English online edition of state-run newspaper al Ahram.
— Agencies

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