Monday, December 15, 2008

Peril in Egypt

Not long ago there was a ferry accident in Egypt that cost numerous lives. In another incident, a bus carrying Israeli Arab tourists overturned in Sinai. The tourists who survived compained of primitive hospital treatment. The Egyptian government would not let Israel evacuate them for quite a while. One said, "What is called a hospital in Egypt is called a barn in Israel."
Now we learn of these accidents. Unsafe public transportation and contempt for human life characterize much of the Arab world, and Egypt is no exception. Mass death scenes are also common in the holy  Hajj pilgrimage, when there are almost never proper provisions for the pilgrims. In the nineteenth century, the Hajj was even more perilous as travellers were regularly attacked and murdered by bandits.
Dozens dead in Egypt bus crash 

At least 55 people have been killed after a bus ran off the road and plunged into a canal south of Cairo, Egypt's capital, officials say.
Between 60-70 people were riding in the overloaded bus on Sunday, in the province of Minya.
Ahmed Diaa, the governor of Minya, said the bus swerved to avoid an oncoming lorry, but the state news agency said the driver had lost control of the bus while attempting to overtake another vehicle.
Police divers and volunteers were searching the canal for more bodies.
Diaa told state-run television that 57 people had died in the accident, but AFP new agency, citing an official, reported 55 bodies were recovered.

The bus was travelling on a narrow road when it veered off the road into the Ibrahimiya Canal, near the village of Bahrut about 200 kilometres from Cairo.
Accidents common
On Monday, fifteen students were killed when a bus overturned on its way from Minya to Alexandria.
Egyptian roads are considered highly dangerous, with thousands of accidents every year. Regulations are not fully enforced and vehicles are badly cared for.
About 6,000 people die and 30,000 are injured in road accidents in Egypt annually.


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