Egyptian killed after being forced to jump off moving train by ticket inspector

Egyptian killed after being forced to jump off moving train by ticket inspector
A young man has been killed after being forced to jump off a moving train by a ticket inspector, in a case that has generated great public anger in Egypt.
3 min read
29 October, 2019
Mohammed Eid died after being forced to jump off a moving train [Twitter]

A young Egyptian man was killed on Monday and another wounded after a ticket inspector forced them to jump from a moving train, in an incident which has caused huge anger in the country.

Twenty three-year-old Mohammed Eid and an unnamed companion were stopped by a ticket inspector on the 934 train from Alexandria to the southern city of Luxor.

When the inspector found that they did not have tickets and couldn't pay for them, he ordered them to jump off the moving train.

After complying with the order, Mohammed fell under the wheels of the train and was killed instantly. His companion was wounded.

Both of the young men were transported immediately to a hospital in the city of Tanta. The injured youth's leg was amputated.

In a separate incident, four people were killed and another four were wounded on Tuesday when a train crashed into a car in Luxor.

The death of Mohammed Eid has generated anger on social media. The price of a train ticket is approximately 70 Egyptian pounds ($4.30) and many Twitter users said that the incident showed how cheap human life was in the country.

Egypt's economy has deteriorated over the past eight years and increasing poverty rates have meant that many Egyptians can't afford even basic services.

The government of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has imposed austerity measures on ordinary people while former construction contractor Mohamed Ali has recently revealed that Sisi has been using public funds to build luxurious palaces for himself. Sisi did not deny the allegations.

In April last year, the Egyptian Transport Minister, Major General Kamel al-Wazir, said that ticket inspectors should be much tougher with fare dodgers and protect revenue.

Major al-Wazir was appointed as transport minister in March after a train crash at Cairo Central Station killed 22 people and forced the previous transport minister to resign.

Following Mohammed's death, Al-Wazir shocked Egyptians when he said that the passenger was "not a child" and should have known the consequences of riding the train without a ticket, but that this did not justify the actions of the ticket collector.

He added that he would personally visit Mohammed's family to apologise to them and offer his condolences.

Egyptian media reported that the ticket inspector and the captain of the train were both arrested and remanded in custody for four days pending an investigation.

Mohammed was buried in his hometown of Shubra al-Kheima north of Cairo.

The people attending his funeral praised him as a hard-working, respectful man who did his best to provide for his family following the death of his father.

He and his friend had reportedly boarded the train to sell hand-made items to passengers.

He has been called the "ticket martyr" and #Ticket_Martyr has quickly become the most trending hashtag in Egypt.

Liliane Daoud, a Twitter user, said, "The price of a ticket is worth more than your life".

"Two young men were thrown out of a train over two dollars. We're cheaper than a pack of cigarettes," Hany Ishak wrote.

One Twitter user wrote, "By the way, we’re all riding the same train, but the inspector hasn't arrived yet!" in an apparent criticism of the way Egyptian authorities treat their citizens.

In addition to economic problems and corruption, Egypt has had a very poor human rights record since a military coup led by Sisi overthrew democratically elected President Mohammed Morsi in 2013.

Tens of thousands of government opponents have been imprisoned and torture and ill-treatment of prisoners is rampant, according to human rights organisations.

Mostafa Abo Seeda tweeted a drawing of a man being pushed off a train with an inspector telling him "When we say you pay, you’ll pay".