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Head of Iran railway system resigns over deadly train collision

27 November 2016 23:24

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The head of Iran’s state-owned railway system has stepped down over a fatal collision between two passenger trains in the country’s north-central province of Semnan.

Mohsen Poor-Seyed Aghaie, president of the Islamic Republic of Iran Railways (RAI), appeared on state television on Saturday night and offered an apology to his fellow countrymen for the incident, which he blamed on “human error” and “wrong decisions.”

Aghaie further said there was apparently an error in the management section of the railways.

“Managers are obliged to take responsibility for the developments,” said the official. “Therefore, I officially resign besides apologizing to the honorable people of Iran over this bitter tragedy.”

He also expressed sympathy with the survivors and the bereaved families of the victims.

Minister of Roads and Urban Development Abbas Akhoundi accepted the resignation of Poor-Seyed Aghaie, his deputy.


People hold a candlelight vigil in Tabriz, Iran on November 26, 2016, to pay tribute to the victims of the train collision in the province of Semnan. (Photo by IRNA)

On Friday, two passenger trains collided at a station in Semnan, killing a total of 45 people and injuring 103 more. An investigation is underway into the incident.

Three people, namely the head of the railway’s command and control center for northeast Iran, the head of the track control center, and the individual in charge of the particular shift at the center when the crash occurred were arrested on Saturday, according to Semnan’s Prosecutor-General Heydar Asiabi.

Iranian authorities have vowed the stern criminal prosecution of those who have either intentionally or inadvertently caused the accident.

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