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Egypt punishes train disaster ‘selfie medics’

Rescuing personnel take selfies at the side of the train accident near Khorshid station in Alexandria. (Twitter photo)

CAIRO: 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 Saturday, following an online uproar.
President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi has ordered an inquiry into the crash.
Two trains collided Friday near the Mediterranean city of Alexandria, killing 41 people in one of the deadliest such accidents in the North African 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 ministry’s director of emergency services Ahmed Al-Ansari told AFP six members of the ambulance crew have been transferred to the western Siwa oasis as punishment.
It was “inappropriate conduct,” he said.
Egypt’s ambulance services had been hailed in the country in the past for their often dangerous jobs tending to demonstrators during the Arab Spring protests of 2011 and their violent aftermath.
Meanwhile, state news agency MENA said on Friday Egyptian prosecutor has ordered the detention of the train drivers and their assistants involved in the collision.
Egyptians have long complained that successive governments failed to enforce basic safeguards for railways.
The prosecutor ordered two train drivers and two assistants be held for 15 days and released several other railway employees, MENA said. Blood and urine samples were taken from one driver to check for drug use.

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